Silicon Valley is known for its plush workspaces that adorn the offices of major tech companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook. Amenities like free massages and onsite daycares have become almost the bare minimum expectations for the country’s top software engineers. As the demand for STEM grads has continued to expand exponentially over the past decade, tech companies in the Valley have resorted to offering benefits to employees that would amaze the average American worker.
Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) was known for starting the hallucinogenic micro-dosing craze of 2015, allowing its engineers to use limited amounts of LSD and MDMA to drive creative problem solving. The project was halted however when Google Assistant misread the dosing instructions and the department running Google Play Music commandeered the third floor of the Googleplex, demanding that their product merge with YouTube Music “just like the blue elves told them to.” Yielding to the demands and cancelling Google Play Music has been deemed one of the worst management decisions of the last 20 years, second only to Blockbuster’s failure to purchase Netflix (which, coincidentally was also caused by a drug overdose, but in that case it was PCP). Nevertheless, the insatiable demand for “tripping balls at work” has driven Google to install DMT vending machines so that engineers can continue the practice they grew accustomed to during the past year of working from home.
Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) has gone a different route, offering its employees access to a kitchen stocked full of whole-food, ketogenic safe provisions. This includes a 20-acre grass-fed cow pasture where employees can catch, butcher, and cook their own beef every day for lunch. Being Silicon Valley, a vegan option is provided as well, although far less luxurious (essentially it consists of the left-over grass from the cow pasture).
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has doubled-down on their commitment to attract top female talent by offering an in-house abortion clinic at their main campus free to any active employee. The Steve Jobs Memorial Abortion Hall pays homage to Steve’s abandonment of his own daughter Lisa for decades while providing a luxurious, spa-like atmosphere for women seeking to terminate their pregnancies without having to miss a day of work. The hall even includes iPads mounted above the bed to allow women to continue to attend web meetings during their procedure.
The benefits keep stacking up for employees of the world’s top tech companies, and it is anyone’s guess what the next wave of competition for software engineers will bring. As STEM employees start to emerge from their COVID-caused work from home conditions, many will likely be surprised and delighted by the upgrades their firms have installed during their absence to keep them on the payroll. Unfortunately, that cannot be said for the various blue collar and retail workers that were obligated to work in person through the pandemic. Analysts believe that many of these “essential” employees will instead be greeted with pink slips and declining health care coverage in the coming months.