Free meals around the clock, massages, lounge areas — you'd think we were talking about a resort instead of a workplace. Thanks to Silicon Valley giants that have set the trend, several tech companies offer campuses that employees wouldn't ever want to leave. Take a look inside Facebook, Google, and Yahoo! (they might as well be called Disneyland for adults) and see for yourself how their employees live.
Choosing the right health care is important, so LearnVest has created a checklist to help you get the most out of your benefits.
Want to save hundreds of dollars next year? Well, there's an easy way to do so. It just requires paying attention and doing a few easy tasks during open enrollment, the short window of time (sometimes no longer than two weeks) around this time of year when many employers let employees make changes to their insurance policies.
For the most part, you can't change your health care choices at any point during the year, unless you've had a major life change like getting married or having a baby. That's why it's time to act now — if you want to pocket a few extra Benjamins next calendar year.
And our open enrollment checklist will help you maximize the benefits (so you don't waste $750 a year on the wrong ones!).
Know the Deadlines
Call your HR representative to find out exactly when your open enrollment period begins and ends. If you miss this window, you'll end up with the same medical, dental, vision, and life insurance coverage as the year before, but you won't be able to make changes to your accounts or sign up for a flexible spending account, for which you need to re-enroll each year. (More on that below.)
It didn't surprise me that Google was rated the best company to work for this year by Fortune. The tech giant has consistently been in the top five firms to work for in the last few years. Although the interview process is grueling, many will say it's well worth their efforts. Here are some of the reasons people want to work at Google:
- Free lunch and dinner by gourmet chefs.
- Convenient on-site services like oil change, car wash, dry cleaning, massage therapy, gym, hair stylist, eyebrow maintenance, doctor visits, fitness classes, and bike repair. Some of these services like laundry are actually for free!
- WiFi-equipped shuttle buses that pick up employees from several locations.
- Gym, swimming pool, rock climbing wall, bowling alley, outdoor volleyball court, and bocce court.
- Up to 18 weeks maternity leave with full pay.
- Full benefits for the partners of lesbian, gay, and transgender workers.
- Bringing your dog to work.
- Tuition reimbursement is up to $12,000 every year as long as you keep your grades above a B.
- Donation matches up to $12,000.
- 401(k) match.
Which perk are you interested in?
I was talking to a friend who was extolling the many perks Googlers get to enjoy at their company. The tech giant has consistently been ranked as the one of the best companies to work for by Fortune and it's easy to see why so many of their employees are satisfied when you scroll through their benefits page.
Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman at Google, explains the reasoning behind these amazing perks, "The goal is to strip away everything that gets in our employees’ way. We provide a standard package of fringe benefits, but on top of that are first-class dining facilities, gyms, laundry rooms, massage rooms, haircuts, carwashes, dry cleaning, commuting buses — just about anything a hardworking employee might want. Let’s face it: programmers want to program, they don’t want to do their laundry. So we make it easy for them to do both.”
Which one of these Google perks would you want to have?
Happy Mother's Day! It's one day that all moms should have off, and not just because it's a Sunday.
One of the things to find out before having a baby is how much leave you'll be granted and how much you'll be paid for that time off. It will vary from company to company, but the differences are extreme when comparing leave policies in different countries. What do you know about maternity leave around the world? Take the quiz!Take the Quiz
Ah, vacation. There never seems to be enough time away from it all, but that's not necessarily the case for workers everywhere. In some places there's no pining for days off because they are plentiful. Wondering where they're most generous with days off? Take the quiz!
Health insurance has become an invaluable benefit — if an accident were to occur and you didn't have coverage, you could be paying off a mountain of medical debt for years to come. A Reuters article highlights just how important insurance is for Americans when considering employment opportunities, and profiles a mother of three in Texas who has taken a part-time job just for the medical benefits.
That's right, full-time real estate agent Lisa DeWaal spends the first four hours of her days serving coffee at a Starbucks before heading to her office. DeWaal sought out employment with Starbucks solely for the affordable health insurance the company offers. Private insurance plans are burdensome for most households, and health experts say they've met plenty of people like DeWaal who are motivated to take or stick with a job because of the health benefits.
DeWaal begins her daily Starbucks shifts at 5 a.m, but those early mornings are worth it. The 20-hours a week at serving coffee allows her to rest easier at night because, for $180 a month, her family is insured. She commented, "Health insurance is exactly the reason why I have taken the extra job. It's company health insurance, which is a lot better than a private plan. I would put these extra hours into real estate if I had affordable health insurance."
Big changes could be in the future for health insurance. Are you currently insured?
It's always interesting to look at how many paid days off employees receive at various companies, because the numbers are all over the place. Vacation days are often skewed according to the time an employee has been with the company, but it can take a while to acquire additional days. How much paid time off do you get every year?
A travel bug has gotten me thinking globally lately, and wishing that I had more vacation days to satisfy the urge to get away. If I were employed internationally, the shortage of available time off wouldn't be much of an issue. Other countries allow employees generous time to "go on holiday" — do you know how much time workers are allowed off around the world? Take the quiz!Take the Quiz