The Perks of Being a Developer

West Coast Tech Companies Still Offering Batshit Perks

Now with taxidermy.
Ugh shut UP.

Ugh shut UP, happy workers.

How’s your Monday going? Pretty meh? Thought so. It’s about to feel even more mundane, because SFGate wrote about some Bay Area tech companies’ office perks this weekend, and somehow they seemed even more over-the-top than usual–we’re talking beyond unlimited vacation.

Here is a highlight reel of the most insufferable and envy-inducing–but also head-scratching–perks offered to employees in California’s tech world:

• Because of California’s hippie-ass labor laws, 60 to 80 percent of startups give their employees unlimited vacation time. One tech spox insists that if you never show up to work you might lose your job, though. Imagine that.

• Social Print Studio of San Francisco offers napping boxes as well as “a fully equipped jam room where its 20 employees and their friends can record a song or video.” Maybe they can write a song explaining what exactly Social Print Studio does?

• At the same office, “There is a wall of exotic taxidermy animals; employees are encouraged, but not required, to choose one that best represents their spirit,” which seems like some sort of thinly veiled cult initiation.

• Evernote, in Redwood City, pays for home cleaning service for its employees; provides catered snacks and lunches; and gives workers a $1,000 vacation subsidy, meaning employees of this startup may be the only people in the world who could conceivably end a week off with more money than they had before.

• Verging on parody, Evernote also gives its employees a $250 per month electric vehicle subsidy.

There’s another side to the perk madness, though–after a certain point, all the free snacks, work-from-home freedom and nap pods mean you don’t ever have to leave the office, and before you know it, you could be routinely pulling 14-hour days.

But don’t be too concerned about perk overload; Stanford professor of organizational behavior Jeffrey Pfeffer sniffs, “As soon as there is an economic downturn, all of this stuff will go away in less than a heartbeat.” So gird your loins, techies. You may someday have to pay for your own maids and work without napping like the rest of the unwashed masses.

Follow Molly Mulshine on Twitter or via RSS. mmulshine@observer.com