With free gourmet meals, in-house massages, and dry cleaning on campus, Google is known for its extensive list of perks.
Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin even brought up the myriad perks in their shareholders’ letter when the company went public in 2004, promising their commitment to providing benefits that can “save employees considerable time and improve their health and productivity.”
Google wants all its people programs to achieve efficiency, promote community, and spur innovation. Surprisingly, Google says it doesn’t drop as much money as you might expect on those perks.
“Most people assume Google spends a fortune doing special things for our employees,” Google HR boss Laszlo Bock writes in his new book “Work Rules!” “Aside from our cafes and shuttles, we don’t.”
Here’s a chart that shows the cost and benefit of some of Google’s most important perks:
“Most of the programs we use to delight and care for Googlers are free, or very close to it,” Bock writes. “And most would be easy for almost anyone to duplicate.”
If companies want to push themselves towards a more Google-y culture, it’s less important to have a ton of money, and more important to try to say yes to employee ideas.