Main image of article What Office Perks Do You Absolutely Need?

Google is shedding some of its famous perks, including fitness classes and massages. Employees are reportedly grousing about a lack of dried fruit in the office kitchens. And if the search-engine giant is cutting back on amenities, can other companies be far behind?

For years, tech companies used their perks and benefits as a crucial differentiator for attracting the best tech talent. When highly-monetized startups and well-established tech giants can afford to pay specialized employees a small fortune in salary and stock options, a job candidate’s decision can sometimes hinge on which company offers the best culture and in-house massages.

But a recent burst of layoffs and cost-cutting at the country’s hottest companies potentially puts all that at risk. Going forward, hiring managers and recruiters may need to emphasize bottom-line salary, the value of a company’s overall mission, and the opportunity to do something absolutely world-altering. That also creates an opportunity for smaller companies to potentially win the competition for top talent—provided they can offer the right package.

In the meantime, we’re wondering: what amenities do you absolutely need… and what can you live without? No matter what your job strategy or company targets, keep in mind that you might have room to negotiate for perks and benefits. Before entering into negotiations with a hiring manager, evaluate what really matters to you when it comes to perks and benefits, and tailor your approach accordingly.

HackerEarth’s recent State of the Developer Ecosystem report, drawn from “thousands” of responses from developers, hiring managers, and tech recruiters, suggests that, when it comes to employer value propositions, tech professionals ultimately want upskilling opportunities and mental health and wellness initiatives over anything else. The latest edition of Dice’s Tech Salary Report likewise found that tech professionals prized training, flexible schedules, and healthcare over other benefits and perks. Sometimes, dried fruit in the office kitchen just doesn’t top the things an employee desires from their job.