Thoughts on company perks

14/11/2018 0 By walsk

“Message of this post”: what company perks are important to you? What are not important? And why? + my answer to these questions.

Rodolphe Dutel, founder of the Remotive community (and much more), shared a tweet month ago, and this tweet has become wildly popular. Here it is:

Screenshot – just in case it gets deleted somehow

And it’s popular for a reason:

Ryan Hoover — founder of ProductHunt

Heck! Look at that (original tweet link here)! Ability to work remotely overthrows paid dinners! While it doesn’t require any financial investments from the company side (wait, or it does? Not sure, need to ask business owners!).

Ryan isn’t exactly a remote work evangelist, but the sample will not objectively reflect the “population” of knowledge workers: I think, a big share of Twitter (and Ryan’s Twitter) readers are, for example, (digital) entrepreneurs, indie makers, etc. But still — that vote distribution sends a message, eh?

So I thought a bit about my own “importance distribution” and got a very clear picture. But before I show the picture, I suggest you to think on the same question: what company perks are the most important for you? Say, top three? 

Here are mine:

Company perks important for me

Tweet link

Explanation of my choices

I’d like to go into a bit more detail about these.

Interesting tech + challenging tasks

I will not describe it here, because somebody already did that for me. 🙂 Rondy Sousa published his notes on the book Effective Engineer by Edmond Lau on Github. Read the part called “Optimize for learning”. I totally share this point of view (and look into these notes from time to time, when making important lifestyle decisions).

The mission: bring value to the world, make people happier

This one is intuitive, I think. One of my employers posted an app in Google Play naming it “Free %service%”, while there’s no way to use it normally without paying, and it continuously suggests to upgrade (so actually it’s more like using an ads board with a little bit of %service%). That’s business, it’s okay, that’s how I made some of my first money, so I’m kinda grateful for help… but…

I think, you see, what I mean here.

There are companies, which provide helpful services, such as Doist, Trello, Github, Automattic… see something common to these? 

This brings us to the next value:

Ability to go remote

I’m not a big fan of misunderstandings. And of communication overhead too. And of making simple things more complex (esp. without need).

But!

We’re in 2018! People know a lot about their own biology, psychology, in particular, how the brain works and what legacy we have from our ancestors. So we’re, I think, able to control it. And be disciplined at work, no matter where it happens, in the office or on the beach. Paradoxically, I’d prefer the office. But I need an option to choose! If I want to go remote for some time, I don’t want to part ways with the company and throw away all the time and money invested in my learning (of the company specifics)… I want to just go for some time and get back. 

That, they say, is what vacations are for. But I like slow travel. Not “jump across the city you’ve visited like a crazy rabbit, trying to visit everything in a week” style, but rather “go and enjoy some beautiful (and new!) landscapes after work every day” style, slow, thoughtful. And I don’t see, why I need to retire and/or create a successful startup to be able to do this.

(Sadly this won’t be much requested, because it’s applicable only to people not having any children (esp. children, going to school). Most likely I fall into a known issue here, trying to suggest for everyone what very few people actually need.)

There’s another interesting question regarding this: company needs to trust its employee to allow going remote. How do I (as an employee) build this sort of trust? Esp. — how do the distributed companies (all-remote) build that trust with people they’ve just hired? 🙂 I’m going to research this, as it’s really interesting.

That’s all — or?

That’s probably all I have to say. Note, that I’m looking purely from an employee point of view, a bit selfish 🙂 But I guess this is 100%-honest-private-person-view, absolutely clear from any kind of corporate influence, hahahaha!

Thanks for reading, hope you’ve enjoyed that (and figured out something new for yourself).