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What would you say is the most important workplace perk to you?
24 points by LYSTech on May 8, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 35 comments


Being able to work remote if I don't feel like going into the office.

Take a vacation whenever.

Never worrying if I can't get a day off to go see a doctor.

I get my job done and do it to a high degree which frees my time up to do other things. You couldn't give me name a price to me right now that would make me give that up.

+1 for flexibility.

Imo a flexible work schedule (wfh/remote work is included here) more than pays for itself in mental/physical health, lower stress levels, and the ability to focus when needed.

I would turn down a 15-20% pay increase if it meant losing my ability to have a flexible schedule.

What kind of companies give you that kind of flexibility?

For me, those where you put a lot of effort, you earn it and of course you get your stuff done.

Silence (I have my own office).

I'd take a job with an office over.one without even if without pays 15% more, I know this because I did.

Do you mean like a 4 walled office rather than open plan / hot desking, or literally over remote working?

I'd say a great place makes all the difference. Being remote can be nice but for teamwork it can get tricky. Having a place where you can both work alone and meet in teams is a great perk.

My coworkers. It really doesn't matter how much good the place is if I don't enjoy the people I work with.

How the hell has no one said insurance yet?! I guess this mostly applies to the US, but I wouldn't want to work at a place with bad insurance.


- fun/intelligent people to work with

- vacation, both in length and ability to take it whenever I want (I have 20 days right now)

- ability to take an hour here or there to get a haircut/deal with bureaucracy/etc. I guess wfh is included in this

-office being in a convenient place close to public transportation with lots of lunch options nearby

Stuff I don't have that I'd like:

-natural light/a view

-summer hours would be amazing

>How the hell has no one said insurance yet?! I guess this mostly applies to the US, but I wouldn't want to work at a place with bad insurance

I consider that a necessity, not a perk! Agree with the sentiment, though. I will never work for a company that offers Aetna for insurance.

It's also a solid perk in the UK. I've not worked at many big companies, but most places I've worked at have had good health insurance plans.

I've worked at a few major, but mainly smaller over my 30 year UK career, and none have had health insurance. Mostly outside London.

I have had gourmet meals in-house, gym membership, book allowances, discount hardware and others, but never yet health insurance.

That's surprising, considering most plans are pretty cheap. I've almost exclusively worked at small companies, agencies mostly, and my last three places had some form of private health plan. I've also never worked in London, where it seems to be a common perk everywhere.

Also worked mostly smaller UK places, and so far never had any of them perks, but always had health insurance - Seems it’s fairly random in the UK

The most important to me right now is enough money to care for my wife and child.

The second one, which used to be the first "before", is flexible hours.

0. Proper ergonomic furniture, including height-adjustable desks (ideally hydraulic sit-stand), depth-adjustable chairs, standing mats, and laptop/monitor risers plus external peripherals.

1. Quiet / walls (haven’t found those in over a decade, tho, so...)

2. Non-fluorescent light. Ideally from nice big windows with a view of something other than the side of the building across the street.

3. Summer Fridays (afternoons off between Memorial Day and Labor Day; common in NYC companies that originated in the 1980s or before)

4. Norms of taking > 3wks/yr PTO

5. Flexible hours

6. Keeping the fridge stocked with milk to go with all that free coffee and tea (so many places take weeks to restock whenever they run out of milk. Such a simple thing. Boggles the mind.)

1) Respect for my role from upper management. This one is huge for me. I have a friend working as an engineer in a company where engineers aren't considered impact players (i.e. aren't perceived as revenue generating, even if the perception isn't 100% true). She is paid well and her boss loves her. But her boss's boss and everyone from there on up have the attitude that engineers "just don't get it" and she's miserable there, because her work can't have as much impact without upper management buy-in. This is a cultural thing and varies highly even between companies in the same industry. For example, there are hedge funds where good engineers are rock stars and there are hedge funds where they are looked at as support staff. In that industry, your importance to the company is often reflected in your pay, but pay aside, where do you think that the engineers are happiest?

2) Some people reading this aren't going to like it, but: Coworkers and/or bosses who have kids, or at least are sympathetic to the fact that I do. This one is really only applicable once you have kids yourself, but if you are in a startup where everyone is young and childless (or old and childless), it'll be hard for them to understand the myriad number of things that come up with children. You need to take your kid to the doctor, you need to stay home because the nanny is sick. I can make up the time, but sometimes it means missing important work or things that can't be rescheduled. The excuses add up and I've met many people who aren't sympathetic to them. And I even understand where they are coming from. But as a parent, I value a company where people are respectful of this.

3) An even keeled boss. You can be a nice person or you can be an asshole. But as long as you are consistent, I can figure out how to deal with you. But if one day you are Dr. Jekyll and the next day Mr. Hyde, then I'll always be afraid to approach you.

4) Good health insurance (in the USA). Our system of having health insurance tied to employment is stupid. But it is what it is, and if you aren't getting good health insurance from work, it can be a fortune to pay for it out of pocket.

>I have a friend working as an engineer in a company where engineers

I categorize this as a place where there are "leaders" and "peons." The "leaders" see themselves as the important people who have ideas and make decisions. The "peons" are the grunts who are involved in execution and are easily replaceable by another peon. The most valuable people are the ones talking about all supposedly great revenue generating stuff they getting peons to do.

Don't work for these places if you like to be an engineer. As you pointed out, an individual manager may be great, but everybody above them sees you as a cog. If your manager is replaced you are done.

I think the only benefit of these places is that execution is mixed in with so much BS that great work life balance can result from it.

Tagging on the kids part. It's not just the kids being sick, it's all the other things that only happen traditional work hours. My daughter had field day last week starting at 10am. Parent-teacher meetings during school hours. Holiday or end of the year parties. Those things add up and it's easy to forget if you don't have kids yourself.

Thankfully I work from home and my boss (who has kids) doesn't mind my schedule as long as I get my work done.

Flex time / working from home

A private office that is quiet

1. Congenial colleagues.

2. An office with actual walls and a door that closes. Full-time remote work is a good substitute.

Working remote nearly 100% of the time.

We have so many and get used to having them it's sometimes hard to pick one out.

Practically speaking I'd have to say the free breakfast/lunches/snacks because I'm way healthier than when I worked at places without them. Sometimes I even get in on time to have a breakfast.

Do you guys ever think about the light inside your workplace and how it affects you?

We're in a dungeon with fluorescent lights here. It makes me so miserable that I'm considering looking for work simply because of the lighting. Every other group in the building has windows they can look out of.

Quietness. As a creative person it's very easy for me to get distracted. I try to work with noise canceling and white noise, but that doesn't really work that well.

A library like quiet place would be a gamechanger for me.

Being able to work with really smart and engaged co-workers.

I'm a Jr. Engineer and I really appreciate working in a positive learning environment with a bunch of experienced, helpful Senior Devs.


company car with unlimited mileage. So far I've driven more than 11.000 km in a month - mostly private, due to the customer being 5min away from my home.

But this could easily be replaced by an increase in salary right ? It is not really part of the workplace (unlike coworkers, location, size, etc.)

Or reimbursement for mileage. Businesses can take this as a tax write-off (i.e. no payroll taxes) from the IRS [0]. My father used to get reimbursed for mileage from his work at the IRS rate, which accounts for things such as reduced car value, gasoline and maintenance costs, but is actually quite generous. The reimbursement rate was high enough that he actually made money from it, since it exceeded the costs of gas, increased maintenance and depreciation. That said, if you drive a ferrari which depreciates quickly and guzzles lots of gas, the calculus is going to be different.

[0] https://www.ifebp.org/news/regulatoryupdates/Pages/2019-irs-...

> 11.000 km in a month

> replaced by an increase in salary

That's like a grand extra every month. Post tax.

- Vacation

- Remote work

- Flex time

- Vacation

- Free coffee

- Office close to public transit

- Did I mention vacation?

part time work

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