Economics/Class Relations

Goodbye to the good life: The cushy perks of tech work are rapidly disappearing.

Story by Asia Martin, Business Insider India

Over the past year, more and more tech workers have seen perks pulled as companies try to ride out a tough market and potential recession.

Meta trimmed $1,000 off its health and wellness benefits per employee, canceled on-site laundry, ended a $200-a-month Lyft subsidy program, and is shrinking its free-food budget.

The same goes for Google, which started limiting employee travel to “business critical” trips this year. Salesforce joined the trend by axing its “wellbeing” days for fiscal year 2024.

When Elon Musk purchased Twitter, one of the first things he did was take away perks related to wellness, family planning, productivity, training, and home offices. He made sport of slashing as much as possible from Twitter, even getting rid of free lunch and going as far as demanding that workers go “hardcore” or resign.

As perks disappear and performance reviews become more brutal, tech workers’ compensation will remain high. But for tech workers who, quite literally, enjoyed a free lunch, it still feels like the end of an era.

The end of perks

The disappearance of perks is a turn of events from the decade before. In the 2010s, perks helped companies differentiate themselves from their competitors in the battle to hire and retain engineers. Perks also kept employees in the office, or, in the case of Silicon Valley, on campus — you can’t stray too far if your yoga class is down the hall from your standing desk.

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