The 15 Coolest Silicon Valley Job Perks You Wish You Had

By Carrie Kirby on 16 February 2015 0 comments

So your job offers the full slate of benefits — dental, vision, 401(k)? Unimpressive.

Skilled tech workers are in such high demand in Silicon Valley that the typical employee benefit package is just the beginning for many firms. As they compete for workers — and for media attention — companies have reached beyond once-novel perks such as on-site gourmet meals and dry cleaning. Nowadays, it's a race to see whose office is the most like a playspace, who soothes employees' work/life struggles the most handily, and sometimes, whose perks are the most outlandish.

Here's a rundown of the coolest job perks you might enjoy if you get hired by a technology company in or around Silicon Valley.

1. Here Today, Gauntlet Tomorrow

Having a few working vintage video game cabinets around is nothing new for Silicon Valley, but a company called All You Can Arcade has enabled some companies to up the ante. All You Can Arcade rents out classic games by the month, and will switch out Millipede for Donkey Kong as soon as employees get bored.

2. A Room of One's Ohm

Impact Hub Oakland, a co-working space, offers members a meditation room as well as desks and conference rooms. At Eventbrite, the Zen Room can be used for getting a massage or napping as well as meditating.

3. Trike Time

When introducing the concept of "funnovation" to its staff, Ask.com bought some adult-sized Big Wheel bikes for hallway drag races. Yes, there have been accidents, but no major carnage was reported.

4. Janitors Who Make House Calls

Redwood City's Evernote provides a twice-monthly cleaner to all full time employees to help them make the most of their off hours.

5. Eggs on Ice

Many Silicon Valley companies offer fertility treatments as part of their health benefit plans, but Apple recently upped the ante by paying for female employees to freeze their eggs to ensure future fertility. Facebook added egg freezing to its benefits coverage, too.

6. Free Food 2.0

Free meals at work is so 1999. Facebook and Genentech are among the companies that also provide employees with dinners to take home to the family. And when you do eat at work, expect to eat in a restaurant with a name, like Facebook's Epic Cafe, headed by a chef lured away from a nice restaurant. And a specialty butcher. And a free candy shop.

7. Clothes That Don't Stink

Facebook offers free wash-and-fold service.

8. Haircuts

Facebook again. Remind me to send them my resume.

9. Unlimited Vacation

Netflix stopped tracking workers' vacation days back in 2004, and since then unlimited vacation has become trendy with tech companies. But critics point out that having no set number on vacation days may lead employees to take less time away.

10. Vacation Cash

Evernote encourages employees to use that unlimited vacation time by giving employees $1,000 to spend on the road, with the caveat that it has to be "a real vacation."

"You can't visit the in-laws; you have to go somewhere," CEO Phil Libin told the New York Times. Airbnb also lists an "annual travel credit" as a perk.

11. Field Trip

In an unusual twist on the working vacation, Expensify takes its entire staff on a working vacation for a month each year. So far they've temporarily relocated to Croatia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Turkey, India, and Mexico.

12. Baby Cash

Google offers new parents $500 "baby bonding bucks," but that's nothing compared to Facebook's $4,000.

13. Parental Leave

That might not seem like a cool perk, until you realize that most U.S. companies provide new parents with no paid leave at all. But at Facebook and Reddit, you can get four months of maternity or paternity leave.

14. Secret Room

San Francisco's Weebly's headquarters has a history linked to Prohibition, leaving it with a secret meeting room behind a bookshelf and a network of tunnels employees can explore.

15. Jam Room

Weebly advertises a "fully equipped jam room" for employees with musical proclivities. At Social Print Studios, the jam room allows for recording songs or videos.

So when are we moving to Silicon Valley?

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