Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.
- (Mark Twain and me)
Theres a saying "Free food is found only in mouse traps".
Google offers free food for all its employees. I think this is one of the most overrated perk. I was telling my
friend the other day, why this doesnt matter, but he didnt seem to believe me.
Even jail offers free food. Whats the big deal?
Remember the company is not non-profit. What does the company get by it?
1. Offering slightly reduced salary(Guessing)
2. Reduced rise/bonus compared to other biggies(Again guessing)
3. Most importantly by giving free breakfast,lunch and dinner, you can make the employee work for more than 8 hrs easily, thereby paying a meal worth wage for few extra hours. Ofcourse
its the employee's option to stay,but an average human tends not to refuse anything "free"
I really don't know about 1 and 2. Its advantageous for the company too, as we maynot know that if salaries/bonus is reduced, but perks are discussed openly. Moreover perks give the perception its better than wats its actually worth.
For example instead of giving a 1000$ bonus, giving a 900$ bonus and a free ticket to a theme park sounds more cooler.(even if the ticket was worth less than 100$). Im not implying the company is evil trying to manipulate, its afterall trying to make its employees happy.
Many new engineers tend to get attracted by these hyped perks and brand sexiness while making a decision. I believe ppl who work for such companies,do so because they really want to. Experienced engineers, will clearly weed out all this unwanted things when changing careers. Much more than free food is needed to convince to work for them. Infact I have heard many ppl say its disadvantageous (esp for family ppl as anyway they have to spend). Intially I thought it was rediciulous, but it makes sense. I have seen many exp. ppl move to startups. They can get great work and they take a good bet that, if the company gets acquired they can reap whole lot of cash. Cash is the only perk which should be looked for. Everything else is just a physcohological trap.
It would be interesting to see whether any attrition happens in Google after 2008, when all the options for the employees who were there when it became IPO has fully vested. I guess many talented ppl will leave to start or work for startups. Remember google has many talented ppl. Talented ppl cannot
be "settling" in big organisations being told to work in feature X of product Y. This true ofcourse for any big organisation which has smart ppl.