Are job perks underrated?

Hacking employment, improving work, professional development
User avatar
Lemur
Posts: 818
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 1:40 am

Re: Are job perks underrated?

Post by Lemur »

@enigmaT120

Ah good catch. Just a quick Google:
https://www.gao.gov/about/careers/benef ... ach%20year. Vacation / Leave
For the first 3 years of government service, employees earn 13 days of vacation each year. For 3 to 15 years of federal service, employees earn 20 days of vacation each year, and after 15 years of federal service, employees earn 26 days of vacation each year.
The above still does not include the 10 Federal Holidays so even at the low end of 13....that is still 23.

I may have been thinking military service = GS as one and the same. We had 30 days of PTO + Fed holidays when I was in the military....the point still stands though that GS has much more PTO then my comparable private sector job (15 days of PTO, No Fed Holidays, No Sick Days).

mathiverse
Posts: 111
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:40 pm

Re: Are job perks underrated?

Post by mathiverse »

A downside of job perks is that they can result in you not learning the skills they cover for. See all the 20 somethings at big tech companies who still don't know how to cook because they had three square meals from the company since they started working (and from the school before that and from their parents before that).

Fortunately, minimal cooking skills aren't too hard to learn once a person wants to, so this downside isn't too bad.

Mister Imperceptible
Posts: 1467
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:18 pm

Re: Are job perks underrated?

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

As a consultant I view the perks offered to the employees as a means to pacify them into accepting a lower salary. I’m ok with having to pay $6 for the otherwise free Employee Appreciation Lunch, because I know that the cost of being appreciated is not free. At every consulting gig I can feel the bean counters above itching to fire me, if only they could do so without letting their project collapse. It tickles me pink.

zocab
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:04 pm

Re: Are job perks underrated?

Post by zocab »

mathiverse wrote:
Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:39 pm
A downside of job perks is that they can result in you not learning the skills they cover for. See all the 20 somethings at big tech companies who still don't know how to cook because they had three square meals from the company since they started working (and from the school before that and from their parents before that).
At least one of the big tech companies has cooking classes on site. Although most people do actually seem to know how to cook (that said, I'm nowhere near the main "campus" - and "campus" tells you all you need to know about how people look at work).
EdithKeeler wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2013 11:23 pm
I am curious why so many feel like working at home is such a great perk. In my job, I think working at home is a big pain. I'd have to buy a new desktop computer and a second screen, and put up with this weird phone situation that makes everyone sound like Timmy in the Well, on a 3 second delay. People who work from home at my company are closely monitored to ensure they are actually working during the "core customer hours," so you can't effectively take your lunch at 2 in the afternoon and get your hair done or something.

Most importantly, I really like to partition home and work. Home is where I go to escape work.

I worked from home for 4 years with another company, full time. I missed the camaraderie of the office.
Partitioning is indeed important - you pretty much can't do sensible WFH without a separate, dedicated, work-only room. (But that can pay for itself in terms of no commute costs.) Equipment is trickier, but at least for full time WFH employers here have to cover equipment costs - and arguably electricity/heating costs (that one gets a bit hard to fight for though).

If you're being monitored like that - you need to find a different company.


I'm actually in the intermediate situation of: we're officially an in-office company, and the culture is in-office (although you can sneak in fairly regular days WFH if you do good work) - but the company decided to do WFH due to the virus situation. So we've lost all the office "perks", which is free food (I only ever had breakfast and lunch - no way am I going to stay in the office until 6pm or whenever dinner is served), gyms (don't use - can do my own exercise), games (really? do you really expect me to spend my free time at the office?). And even though I've lost those perks - and yes I now have to pay for breakfast and lunch - life is still much nicer not having to commute, not having to sit in a noisy open plan office where you can't concentrate (I don't really care from a work efficiency perspective - that's not my money going down the drain if I can't focus - but it's still psychologically tough being looked at and subjected to noise all day), and being able to take breaks as needed with zero guilt. Amusingly, I get better work done now.

mathiverse
Posts: 111
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:40 pm

Re: Are job perks underrated?

Post by mathiverse »

zocab wrote:
Sat Sep 26, 2020 8:36 am
At least one of the big tech companies has cooking classes on site. Although most people do actually seem to know how to cook (that said, I'm nowhere near the main "campus" - and "campus" tells you all you need to know about how people look at work).
My observations are about people at a big tech company that has cooking classes that I know (maybe we are talking about the same company). Certainly the observations are anecdotal. I mostly know people around main campus though. I could imagine it's different at the remote sites.

EdithKeeler
Posts: 1071
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:55 pm

Re: Are job perks underrated?

Post by EdithKeeler »

It’s interesting that you replied to my post from seven years ago. So much has changed—I’m still with the same company, in a new higher level position, and am working from home full time since March due to Covid.

I still hate working from home—I really miss my coworkers—but I better get used to it because our staff has shrunk so much that I’m about 98% sure they’ll go to full time WFH for our branch once our lease is up.

I guess it depends what you do, but i think a ton of synergy is lost with never having those impromptu discussions over the coffee pot, and someone joins the converse and offers a new idea.... I love that and miss it.

From an ERE perspective, it’s great because I’m saving a ton of cash. So that’s good.

User avatar
Lemur
Posts: 818
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 1:40 am

Re: Are job perks underrated?

Post by Lemur »

@Edith.

I'm sure personality quirks play a role. I LOVE working from home. I dreamed about it for years, and then it happened..., and it was everything I thought it could be. I also had a 90 minute commute one way so...yeah I'm gaining 15 hours of my life back a week + reduced stress + gained sleep. Overall, I like juggling multiple different tasks at both home + work. Makes the days go by quicker.

I'm sure I would have a different tone if my managers tried to micro-manage my WFH situation...but they don't so I enjoy the flexibility. Sometimes I can even, in effect, trade away hours during my day but log on later in the evening to take care of those tasks that are better taken care of when colleagues aren't pinging you non-stop.

AnalyticalEngine
Posts: 403
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:57 am

Re: Are job perks underrated?

Post by AnalyticalEngine »

I've found working from home has made it much, much, much harder to concentrate/focus. Maybe I do need a 100% dedicated WFH room. The no-commute and no-open-office (may covid kill open office floorplan forever) is nice, but the inability to stay on task has become so difficult to the point it's stressful. I do also miss the social interaction with coworkers/free happy hour/etc.

Hristo Botev
Posts: 972
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:42 am

Re: Are job perks underrated?

Post by Hristo Botev »

I was back working in the office the second the powers that be permitted it (it’s still not required). I hate everything about working from home. I’d no doubt feel somewhat differently if I had a long car commute; but, inter alia, it’s important for my wellbeing that I not associate my home with “work.”

I guess I should add that our office building is pretty small (5 stories), so even pre-COVID you could avoid being in an elevator or stairwell or bathroom with anyone else. And our firm has fewer than 10 employees and everyone has their own office (no open concept here, thanks goodness). And masks are required the handful of times you need to be in the common areas.

Campitor
Posts: 1064
Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:49 am

Re: Are job perks underrated?

Post by Campitor »

I have no problem focusing while at home. It's actually harder for me to focus at work. I get a steady stream of walk-ins as well as frequent calls for assistance yelled over cubical walls. I love the job but find the constant interruptions creating inefficiencies. Everyone in my family is working from home but we all retreat to our separate corners so we can focus on our work; big bonus is we have very similar work schedules. I also have access to a backyard with great views to the sky and trees which makes it an awesome area to take a lunch break. I'm very fortunate.

I sympathize with those of you who find it stressful working from home. Hopefully we can go back to normalcy early next year. Hang tough!

ZAFCorrection
Posts: 428
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:49 pm

Re: Are job perks underrated?

Post by ZAFCorrection »

Since I am an "essential worker," my company covers pretty much any meal I want to eat onsite. I think officially there is some limit but no one enforces it. Incidentally, the concept of essential workers is kinda funny in how inclusive it ends up being. I'm pretty sure no one thinks high-paid engineers when that topic comes up.

Also, I have to agree that the awesomeness of working at home is entirely situational. If training depends on standing in a particular place with a particular person, everyone working at home as much as possible is a huge, huge pain in the ass. Additionally, if you have a relatively small space and an active family hanging around, it can be a big challenge to remain focused.

Quadalupe
Posts: 157
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:56 am
Location: the Netherlands

Re: Are job perks underrated?

Post by Quadalupe »

In my opinion, perks are severly underrated by many. At least when you're talking about perks like the amount of PTO and being able to work part time. Being able to buy a bike cheaply is nice and can save 300$. Being able to have 10 weeks PTO instead of 5 AND working 32 hours (4 days) instead of 40 is amazing and can save you from burnout and working too long to hit your number.

guitarplayer
Posts: 141
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2020 6:43 pm

Re: Are job perks underrated?

Post by guitarplayer »

Where I work, next to 35 days of holidays there is a a tradition of allowing 4 weeks of unpaid leave every two years. Contract stays in place, accommodation comes with job so no hassle about that. All things considered I think this is pretty sweet.

Post Reply