Main image of article Is Tech's Era of Great Perks Coming to an End?

The world’s biggest tech companies have long been known for their amazing perks and benefits, from free (and good!) cafeteria food to in-house laundry and fitness facilities. But is that era coming to an end?

According to a new breakdown in Business Insider, Meta and Google have sliced away at benefits such as free food, employee travel, and even Lyft subsidies. Salesforce is ending its COVID-era tradition of giving employees one day per month off for personal “well-being.” And over at Twitter, new owner Elon Musk has slashed everything from remote-work benefits to training opportunities.

The reduction in perks comes as CEOs are asking tech professionals to buckle down and boost their productivity. “Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly told employees on an internal call in July. And earlier this week, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, long a fan of remote work, publicly questioned whether employees needed to come back to the office in order to boost the productivity of newer hires.  

During the pandemic, consumers and businesses spent more money on everything from cloud-based productivity software to games. As a result, the profits for many of the biggest tech companies skyrocketed. But fears of an oncoming recession have led to a broad pullback in spending, driving executives at these tech companies to take a second look at the efficiency of their operations. When it comes time to pinch pennies, lavish benefits are often the first things to go—especially when a significant portion of a company’s workforce already works from home for at least part of a week, and thus doesn’t need access to in-office gyms, classes, or dry cleaning.   

Fortunately, most technology professionals care less about freshly made sushi in the cafeteria and more about the benefits that actually translate into better work-life balance, such as lots of PTO and the opportunity to work from home for at least part of the week. Even if your company is slashing some kinds of benefits in order to save costs, you can likely leverage your skills and experience to secure a flexible schedule or more vacation time. With the tech unemployment rate still notably low, employers everywhere need to do everything they can to retain their best and brightest—and that means offering some kinds of benefits.