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No, I don't want free lunches

Inspired by this post, I'd like to give some perspective on benefits that companies offer to attract and keep their talent.

Disclaimer - this is not about my current job or any previous jobs I've had. I am thankful for the position I am currently in!

Ping pong table (credit to
Playing ping pong at lunch

Keep your free lunches

I don't want free lunches, nor do I want a pizza as consolation for working late hours to finish the project we are behind resources on. I'm an adult, and will brown-bag my lunch (to save money) and do the work that's asked of me.

I'd rather have realistic goals for the amount of work that we need to do, and get the support (de-scope work, get more employees, etc.) if needed.

Don't give me swag

I don't need free t-shirts, or mugs or tickets to a basketball game. These are all fine things, but do this out of generosity, not as part of a benefits package.

Orange swag hat (credit to
Orange swag

Give me the compensation necessary to live off of - it doesn't need to be extravagant, just enough.

Don't give me a company phone

Thanks for offering to give me a free cell-phone and plan, but I don't want to be on-call 24/7. Of course, I'll put in work when it's required of me, but I don't want to end up in the icu.

Shout-out to the doctors and nurses and hospital staff who work these hours - we really appreciate you and you are not compensated enough for all the long hours you put in at your job.

Give me manageable amounts of work that don't leave me feeling burned out after a few months. Don't make me feel guilty that I didn't answer all of your emails you send me at 10pm every night.

Get rid of the ping-pong table

I'm a big fan of ping-pong, but being a benefit?

Ping pong paddle (credit to
My racket of choice

Instead, provide working conditions that allow me to use a standing-desk or take a walk if I need to, and ones that have natural sunlight (it's the #1 perk we are looking for).

Pass on the happy hour

Employee relations are important, but I usually don't want to spend extra time at work than I have to. I'd like to come home to my family, work on my hobbies, read, relax, exercise. We are all adults, we can get along at work and build up our relationships too. 

Keep your wide-range of projects

I'm in technology, so it is always varying. What I am referring to here is the fact that employers pass off the wide-range of projects benefits sometimes as being able to work on many things. In my limited experience, this comes down to "we have too much to do, and only want to hire one person to do it all."

Crazy woman (credit to|)
Our brains when too much is going on

Limit your scope, but still push us as employees. We like a challenge, but we can only run a marathon (not be sprinting all the time). Additionally, we want to work on meaningful work, help us understand what we are doing is important.

So what do we really want?

  • Fair compensation
  • Fair insurance and 401k plans
  • Sunlight
  • Manageable work week
  • Work that is meaningful
We all really just want to do our best job, and by offering the right benefits - we will be more comfortable and stay with you longer.

Your additions?

What perks do you want at your job? Were there any we missed or didn't touch on? Let us know your thoughts.


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