Gourmet meals and other perks

Google wants to attract and retain the best technicians in the world. It also wants to get the most out of them whilst they are at work.

by Knowledge@Wharton
Last Updated: 23 Jul 2013

To meet this objective, the company offers an impressive array of corporate benefits including gourmet meals at breakfast, lunch and dinner, an in-house doctor, a nutritionist, yoga classes, a 24-hour gym, dry cleaners, a massage service and a wi-fi equipped, bio-diesel shuttle bus.

Google's perks are setting new high standards for such perks which other companies may have to match if they also wish to motivate staff. Not giving 'knowledge workers' such benefits can obviously hit the bottom line as their motivation and performance sinks after the first few months at work.

If you treat people like assets or 'paper clips' you will get a poor average performance in return. The type of perks Google offers are ideal for 'integrators' - people who are happy to see their work and personal lives blurred in many areas and want to work at home as well as at the office.

In contrast, such perks may not suit and could even offend people known as 'segmentors' - individuals who prefer to keep the two sides of their lives separate. They want to focus when they are at work but then leave to return to their private affairs and not see the two cross over in any way. Those in favour of Google-style perks argue that people can pick and choose. The perks are there, but they don't have to take them.

Perk place: The benefits offered by Google and others may be grand, but they're all business
March 2007
Review by Morice Mendoza

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