Monday, June 4, 2012

The Pay Sucks, But the Benefits Are Great

How'd you like to be on this job interview?

"Well, Joe, it looks like you'd be a perfect fit for our company. Let me tell you about some of our benefits. We have full health care coverage—including eye, dental and a customizable wellness program. Our package also offers reduced rates on life  and homeowners insurance, as well. You'll get two weeks of vacation, a week of sick leave and personal time. We offer profit sharing, a Christmas club and a keg-R-ator, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

Courtesty of
According to Carol Harnnet, of Human Resource Executive Online, that's what Mark Torres of The Rubicon Project might offer—at least the beer part anyway. Harnett's article goes on to say that companies, like the Rubicon Project, are starting to rethink tradition benefits packages. The mega com Google has been offering "lifestyle" perks—like free haircuts at an on site salon and usage to it's on site gym and swimming pool—to its employees for years. Other companies are starting to adopt a Google-like approach to retaining and, or, wooing employees. Pool tables, community gardens and yes, my favorite perk, beer—or even full bars—are becoming more common in the workplace. These alternative perks are especially effective since a number of companies are reducing, or in some case eliminating, more traditional benefits, as a cost saving measure.

Granted, beer in the workplace isn't a totally new concept. Many Victorian companies and factories offered beer to their employees—but not for the same reason. I'm fairly sure those businesses weren't all that concerned about employee satisfaction, they just didn't want people dropping dead from e-coli exposure while working the line—they could die at home all they wanted. Beer, because it was boiled, was potable. Most coliform was destroyed during the brewing process, while a good bit of any other available water might have been a tad off—like contaminated with raw sewage, off.

Those gastro-intestinal wrenching times are behind us, and a new epoch of beery work may be upon us. Instead of investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in your own brewery—just so you can drink at work—why not suggest to your HR department Mark Torres' idea. Although, I still imagine that most places won't allow beer and spread sheets to mix—but who knows, maybe they will sooner or later.

At least that's what I keep telling myself.


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