By Justin Woodfield
The average American will spend roughly 90,000 hours over their lifetime at work. It is safe to say your job can make a huge impact on your quality of life. Throughout my time taking Managing People in Organizations, it has become more prevalent that there is so much more to the job market than how much one will get paid.?Industry leaders such as Google, SAS, Microsoft and Patagonia all wager benefits or perks in order to obtain and maintain the most competitive work force. One thing that we learned in my other business classes is that anyone can match a $$$ amount, but where you’re different is in the attributes of your brand.
Considering the fact that companies are not required to provide 401k, on campus day care, health insurance, flexible scheduling, a rest area, paid paternity/maternity leave or well anything other than workers comp, unemployment, disability and a paycheck. It seems almost unimaginable to be able to live your life to the fullest while also being the most productive employee you can. For most people, being an employee takes up a vast amount of your life, so why not live it like your life? These businesses are booming and overflowing with the most amazing and innovative workers. They are creating a workspace that does not drain you and make you dread your job, but instead becomes an integral part of your life that allows for balance and productivity.
Looking at Google, specifically all the perks associated with their main campus, The Googleplex, they all come into conjunction to create a creative work environment that inspires collaboration and innovation. Recently I had the pleasure of attending a presentation from a current Google employee working in the user experience research sector. When I asked how she got the job she said she originally started working at Google as a party planner, but because of Google’s workplace environment she could work on almost any project and learn firsthand from her coworkers. This autonomy, this freedom, in the work force is a radical idea: aAllowing your workers to escape from these dehumanizing cubicles and the strict rules of a job description. Business Insider ranked the “13 Incredible perks of working at Google, According to the Employees” and and on that list (besides employees being able to eat every meal at work for free, the on-site gym, and massage therapists), the employees said one of the best perks was their ability to collaborate and learn from some of the most innovative minds in the tech-world.
I think all these benefits allow people to continue to live at work. I think they’re incredibly important because at the end of the day, we are all just growing and changing humans who have lives, families, hobbies, responsibilities…..the list goes on. We aren’t one dimensional creatures, and our workplace shouldn’t be either. Our productivity and inspiration will only thrive in an environment that will support us, for a company that will respect us, and for a world that moves with us. As I enter the job market, I will consider all these factors when choosing my career. Who knows, maybe my future career will be making these workplaces a reality.