- Tech companies used to provide generous benefits to staff before the industry took off.
- Due to the cost-cutting measures, some tech firms have cut back on employee benefits.
- Here are some of the best office perks employees have had in recent years.
The tech industry used to be famous for its great work in addition to great salaries, but now some of the main players are on the decline.
Big Tech companies like Google and Meta have tried to cut costs by reducing perks and restricting work travel. Thousands of workers have also been laid off between them.
From big lunches to on-site pampering, here are eight of the biggest perks that company tech workers have received over the years.
1. Google paid for its employees to go skiing
Google used to treat its employees to ski trips to Vermont, Insider previously reported.
A few years ago, Google had “fun budgets” for teams, according to Zac Bowling, an engineer who was recently laid off after eight years. Historically, teams have allowed money to be spent on things like team-building activities, alcohol, or a refrigerator for the office, he said.
Sometimes, Google would pull the fun budgets and use them for a company ski vacation, Bowling told Insider in an interview in January.
“They don’t allow that anymore,” he said. “Google certainly has less exclusive benefits, and less interesting.”
CEO Sundar Pichai announced in January that he was laying off about 12,000 employees.
2. Unusual Twitter lunches
Elon Musk has gained notoriety on Twitter for charging the big bucks. After completing a $44 billion acquisition in October, Musk laid off thousands of staff, sold Twitter assets, and reduced benefits for remaining employees.
One of the perks cut under Musk’s early reign was Twitter’s free meals, a perk he claimed cost the company $400 per meal due to having “virtually no one” in the office.
According to an email sent to Twitter employees and seen by Insider in November, Twitter’s free food and drink was transitioning to a “partially paid” model. In November, a Twitter employee told The New York Times that the cafeteria offered two types of macaroni and cheese and a salad bar, but previously lacked items such as grilled shrimp.
3. Google staff could enjoy an on-site massage
Google is famous for having gyms and mass uses on some of its campuses. However, some employees may be going without these benefits after recent layoffs.
According to court filings, 27 massage therapists were let go from Google’s Mountain View office, two from a campus in Los Angeles, and one each in San Bruno and Irvine.
4. Apple hosted live performances from pop stars
Apple treats its employees to regular parties, sometimes called “beer bashes.” Apple is the only major tech giant that has avoided mass layoffs recently.
Employees were reportedly treated to free beer and food at the parties, as well as occasional private concerts with famous artists such as Maroon 5, Demi Lovato, and Gwen Stefani.
5. Google offered financial assistance to spouses of deceased workers
Forbes reported in 2016 that if an employee died while still working at Google, the tech company would help take care of his family.
According to the report, obtained by Glassdoor, Google will continue to pay half of the salary to the deceased employee’s spouse for 10 years – plus an additional $1,000 per month for each child.
6. Airbnb pays employees to travel
Airbnb gives each employee a $2,000 travel credit each year.
The perk is paid out on a quarterly basis and can be used to book stays on the Airbnb platform anywhere in the world. Last year he also announced that employees were allowed to work from anywhere.
7. Meta provides on-site health care
Meta installed dental and health care on site at its headquarters in California. The company, which laid off 13% of its workforce in November, partnered with Crossover Health to create a Wellness Center in Menlo Park.
The perk is listed on the company’s benefits page as “employee use only.” Meta, as well as Apple, pays for part of the cost of freezing their employees’ eggs.
However, Meta said in December that it planned to cut its Life@ benefit, which covers mental health costs and work-life balance needs, Insider reported. The company also ended its Lyft subsidy so employees will no longer receive free Lyft rides.
8. Donate $10,000 to the Asana workplace
Asana staff can splurge on a swanky office desk, the latest desktop computer, or a comfortable chair thanks to the company’s $10,000 allowance for workplace furniture, according to media reports.
The US software company provides employees with home-cooked organic meals twice a day, according to Forbes.