Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What Do You Consider A Good Workplace Perk?

I have a title for a blog post that I’ve been wanting to write for a while. I don’t quite have the content to go with it yet. I’ve been wanting to write a post about “When Companies Believe Their Own BS.”

Have you ever worked for a company that went on and on about how great it was? It told you how kind it was to the employees, how great it was to the community, and how everybody working there loved it. Yet you thought you were the odd person out. You didn’t get it.

I wondered about this with my last company. The one that let me go last Thursday. I’m not bitter; seriously, I’m not. I’m glad they kept me around as long as they did.

I’m curious about why the company built itself up over certain perks. I did like and benefit from the free coffee. It was the first place I’ve worked where I didn’t have to pay dues to a coffee mess or bring my own coffee. They also paid entirely for a picnic every summer and for a “holiday party” in December. But, the company only gave employees 7 paid holidays a year. That’s right; we had a great Christmas party, but we had to work on Black Friday.

Employees started with 10 vacation days a year. After 5 years of service, you get 12. Wow, 12 days a year off! What am I going to do with all that spare time? You can almost make up for the 10 paid holidays other companies in this industry offer after 5 years of service and those 2 extra days!

On top of that, any readers I have know how much I hated my cubicle. Seriously, I would rather have a quiet and secluded place to work than an open bar at the Christmas party. I can’t work effectively when I’m surrounded by noise and distraction and I feel like I’m in a fishbowl. I don’t like being snuck up on. Micro-MAN-ager had a habit of coming up behind me and grabbing my shoulders. When I was concentrating on something, it took a lot of willpower not to come up swinging. I’d rather had a desk facing the door than a free picnic in the summer.

What do you consider a good workplace perk? What kind of silly ways does your company claim to be the greatest that you don’t get the point of?

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