As Tech Firms Boom, Quirky Job Perks Once Again Become the Norm
A mere 11 years after the 1990s tech bubble burst, Silicon Valley companies are once again wooing workers with quirky perks, including an in-office tree house that features a nap room at Airbnb Inc.'s new offices in San Francisco, The Wall Street Journal reports (subscription may be required).
Those and other perks, including a recent rooftop barbecue and air guitar contest, promote fun at work, says Joe Gebbia, the 29-year-old founder of the vacation-rental marketplace website.
Airbnb isn't alone in revisiting the heady excesses in tech-bubble perks. Online storage site Dropbox Inc. has a rock room where employees play guitars and drums, and another one dedicated to playing the arcade game "Dance Dance Revolution."
Zynga Inc., a social-gaming company, offers its employees gourmet lunches and dinners, and social-network behemoth Facebook sponsors an annual game day, which features classic schoolyard games such as kickball and capture the flag.
Though offering employees unique perks seems like déjà vu, there's one component of today's tech startups that's decidedly not old-school: the dress code.
The Journal notes that today's batch of tech-savvy entrepreneurs have eschewed the khaki pants and blue shirts of a decade ago for the popular hooded shirt, or hoodie, a nod to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, 27, who has made it his uniform.
Zuckerberg did surrender his hoodie for an evening in February while dining with President Obama. But when Obama showed up a few weeks later at Facebook's California headquarters, Zuckerberg gave the president, "who got Mark to wear a jacket and tie," a hoodie of his own.
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David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. The syndicated column appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide before it made its debut on DailyFinance in 2010. Schepp now continues that tradition at Aol Jobs, covering the jobs beat and providing readers insight and analysis into the nation's challenging employment scene.
Schepp holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Metropolitan State College of Denver.
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