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IT Workers To Get Fewer Perks, No Free Coffee 620

Posted by timothy
from the back-to-your-oars-slave dept.
dasButcher writes "While the economy is showing signs of recovery and tech stocks posted double- and triple-digit gains in 2009, IT workers are facing a less hospitable workplace in the coming year. Many employers say they're going to continue trimming budgets, particularly in human resources. Rather than giving up head count, they're planning to trim 401k contributions, eliminate bonuses, curtail travel and, dare we say, shut off the free coffee (it wasn't that good anyway)."
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IT Workers To Get Fewer Perks, No Free Coffee

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  • institution purchases even MORE gear because buying is from last years budget.

    institution reduces IT staff because salaries are from this years budget.

    no coffee? just be happy there even IS an IT position.

    • by DJRumpy (1345787) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @10:53AM (#30654764)

      Yeah, we've gotta be more concerned about feeding that CEO machine...

    • by ByOhTek (1181381)

      I'm not sure why I would complain about no free coffee...

      My work never supplied that :-(

      • by SnapShot (171582) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @11:17AM (#30655078)

        IMHO, getting rid of free coffee is a huge mistake. In the scheme of things it's a tiny expense and you're going to lose far more in terms of people bickering about the coffee fund, people running out "on break" to buy coffee, and the basic office environment.

        • by TheSeventh (824276) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @11:22AM (#30655130)
          At the company where I work, they cut off the free coffee last summer, for a cost savings of $80,000 a year. Not exactly a tiny expense, basically one engineer's job.

          Now if we can just get that one engineer whose job it saved to get everybody coffee . . .
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by cashman73 (855518)
            That sounds sort of like the plot of a Dilbert cartoon,. . .
          • by MBGMorden (803437) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @11:29AM (#30655234)

            My guess though is that if you're spending $80k per year on coffee, then it's for a hell of a lot of people, and that $80k expense (and a single job) IS tiny on that scale. If an $80k expenditure costs a job but improves morale of a few thousand employees enough to make up for it in productivity gains, then it's the right thing to do.

            • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @11:37AM (#30655350) Homepage Journal

              I tend to agree. When the economy goes south, and you either stop giving raises, or start giving paycuts, sometimes the best way to keep employees happy is with relatively minor perks like these. I worked for a company where there was a hiring and raise freeze during a merger. No one was happy. They expaned the free coffee into free hot cocoa as well. It was a minor thing, but the gesture seemed to make people happy.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by datapharmer (1099455)
                While that may have worked at your business I disagree. I recently had a discussion with someone at another IT company and we were bashing just this practice. It seems that every couple months there will be a round of paycuts or firings followed by bowling night/movie night/new fancy coffee maker and donuts in the break room... to the point that those who have been around a while shudder every time they see or hear about any "perks". This may work in some places, but in general engineers and IT people are
            • by SnapShot (171582) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @12:08PM (#30655848)

              I found a quick quote that claimed "the general rule of thumb for office coffee service pricing is $60 to $120 per employee per year." So he's talking about a business with at least 667 employees and probably close to 1000.

              So, if the average employee is 0.1% more productive with free coffee getting rid of the free coffee was a bad business decision and the Cxx (COO, CFO, whatever) who made that decision should be beaten to death with his own intestines or fired.

            • by C10H14N2 (640033) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @12:55PM (#30656608)

              My office has free coffee -- a dozen kinds of Keurig pods -- and a free soda fountain. We all got pretty miffed when they down-sized the free cups, but, meh.

              It's about $25-50/week not spent at the overpriced retail joints. Figure 200 employees at ten minutes, once a day to run downstairs, that's 166 hours of lost productivity -- or somewhere between $5-10K PER WEEK. To the employees, that's about $250K of collective benefit. To the employer, it's about double that in productivity not lost to everyone schlepping downstairs for coffee and soda.

              On the other hand, my mother's office eliminated their coffee service, one kind, giant urn of Yuban, claiming it was an unnecessary expense. That manager got a bonus for reducing overhead...

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Wow, what timing. This morning when our company announced that it was canceling the coffee service to save money, I immediately asked what that savings would be. $200 a month was the answer, for our location which employs roughly 130 people. I was floored. If our financial situation is that serious, maybe I need to start looking for another job?

              - Long time lurker, first time commenter.

        • by Spykk (823586) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @12:02PM (#30655758)
          I have always thought of programming as the art of converting caffeine into an executable. Coffee is part of the cost of doing business.
    • by Penguinisto (415985) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @11:15AM (#30655050) Journal

      You can always fit a small refrigerator inside of a std. rack (lay a couple of 2x4's across the bottom to hold it up, and make sure the rack doors are on it, front and back). Put your own coffee maker on top of it, and you're set. Tape a few Dell server front panels to the inside of the rack door while you're at it. If you're really into disguises, wire up a few LED's to those panels.

      Now if only there was a way to squeeze a big-screen TV in there... and no, not sideways.

    • by farrellj (563) * on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @11:22AM (#30655142) Homepage Journal

      Back in the olden days of Computers...like 10 years ago...I was one of the many who was against unionization of IT workers. Now, having been badly treated by both small companies, and one of the largest single-digit level manufacturers of computers, I see that I was wrong. Today's 'sweatshops' are in computer assembly factories, and in call centers. They both use Skinner like systems with seemingly random rewards and punishments to keep people in line.

      These days, digging ditches is a more profitable and satisfying job...fully unionized, with guaranteed vacation and benefits, and a grievance system that actually works!

      ttyl
                Farrell ...note, I don't dig ditches.

  • So? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @10:39AM (#30654568)

    Every job is different. Every career is different. Things ebb and flow. For a long time, IT workers were spoiled primadonna. Now they're just another cost center. Guess what, the economy is jacked up. Budget cuts have to happen. IT is a necessity, but so is efficiency, cost control, etc. Welcome to the real world you big f'ing crybabies.

    • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by armanox (826486) <asherewindknight@yahoo.com> on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @11:21AM (#30655124) Homepage Journal

      Now they're just another cost center. .

      No, we (IT) has been viewed as a cost center since the 90s. And sometimes as glorified janitors...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by BitZtream (692029)

        You say that as if its not the truth ...

        Reality check: We ARE glorified janitors and automobile mechanics.

        Very few in IT are actually worthy of being treated as something special, and regardless of how many people here don't understand it, most slashdotters are not 'special' with their skills today. 10 years ago, slashdot users had automatic street cred, today, its just another haven for wanna-bes with a few geeks still mixed in from the 'good ol days'

    • I agree. Mostly. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Petersko (564140)
      "Every job is different. Every career is different. Things ebb and flow. For a long time, IT workers were spoiled primadonna. Now they're just another cost center. Guess what, the economy is jacked up. Budget cuts have to happen. IT is a necessity, but so is efficiency, cost control, etc. Welcome to the real world you big f'ing crybabies."

      I'm dramatically overpaid for what I do if you look at it from a day-to-day effort perspective. I do my work, but my dad is a heavy duty mechanic, and I'm a chair jock
      • Re:I agree. Mostly. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by GooberToo (74388) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @01:06PM (#30656824)

        Hope this joke puts things into perspective for you.

        A factory has a major problem that closed their manufacturing line. A consultant is brought in. The Consultant wanders around the factory floor, listening, poking. Finally, he takes out a small hammer and taps gently a few times on one particular piece of machinery. The factory line roars back to life, production once again in progress. The factory managers are ecstatic.

        A week later, the factory recieves the invoice from The Consultant. The price was $900 for less than one hour of work. The factory's business people fumed and asked The Consultant for an explanation. The Consultant offered to send in an itemized invoice. The business people said, "yes, please do."

        A second invoice arrived. It had two line items. Item 1 was, "Rectifying Problem with Hammer Hit....$1" Item 2 was, "Knowing Where to Hit the Hammer....$899"

  • At the shitehole where I work the free coffee is bloody Nescafe instant.
  • I know many programmers whose fingers can't move unless well lubricated with caffene :-)
    • by SharpFang (651121) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @11:30AM (#30655248) Homepage Journal

      A cow is a machine that converts grass to milk.
      A programmer is a machine that converts coffee to code.

  • ... don't take away the Hot Coffee, I'm fine with it.

  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @10:46AM (#30654656)

    The more you screw your employees, the more they will find ways to screw you. Turn off Gmail and Slashdot? Fine, I'll take a once-an-hour smoke break. Hack my 401k? I'll sit and stare at the ceiling. Bust by balls about travel costs? See if I don't have a "family thing" next time and can't go. People will take what they feel (rightly or wrongly) is their due, whether you give it to them or not.

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @10:59AM (#30654840) Journal
      It seems particularly counterproductive to do so on the really cheap; but warm and fuzzy, nonmonetary perks. In even modest quantities, the unit cost of a cup of mediocre coffee isn't quite zero, but it sure isn't high. Certainly lower than the per-unit cost(either for you or for your employees) of having them nipping out to Starbucks for 15 minutes, rather than the kitchen for 5).
    • by RobotRunAmok (595286) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @11:06AM (#30654936)

      Twenty years ago, companies jumped-up IT guys and made them "Web Masters" -- coders, server maintainers, content creators and (in their own minds) designers -- giving them six figure salaries. Every company, no matter how small, felt it needed to have a "server room" and maintain their e-mail service locally. The Marketing secretary always needed help figuring out how to print her boss's agenda out of Lotus Organizer.

      Times changed.

      Now, companies buy website templates for sixty bucks non-exclusive (three grand exclusive) and they're sitting in a server room at a place called Dreamhost or Hostgator. The content is maintained via a CMS run by the Marketing secretary. Employers and employees are using Gmail and other cloud-based e-mail systems because the lines between personal and work IT space have become so blurred. Nobody needs help printing anymore, because an entire generation has been raised on the Internet and personal computer systems.

      People will take what they feel (rightly or wrongly) is their due, whether you give it to them or not.
      And employers will replace them with 20-something go-getters with better attitudes and more up-to-date skills, and at half the salary.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tsstahl (812393)

        And employers will replace them with 20-something go-getters with better attitudes and more up-to-date skills, and at half the salary.

        Where is this elusive species to be found in quantity? The specimens I am familiar with have a hard time spelling "Word", much less using it. To them "The Web" is Yahoo, Gmail, and Facebook. And finally, SMTP is text slang for Suck My Teats and Poonani (less vulgar translation).

        Yes, they can print and download, but in my experience deep knowledge of the plumbing behind the Internet is fading, not expanding.

      • by Moryath (553296) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @11:34AM (#30655314)

        Now, companies buy website templates for sixty bucks non-exclusive (three grand exclusive) and they're sitting in a server room at a place called Dreamhost or Hostgator.

        Getting hacked regularly by some turd who wants to take over the server to make into a warez repository, spam relay, look around for credit card records, or replace all the images with "I kno u dont want 2 see thiz but herez tha ded iraqi babies tha ebil US killz."

        The content is maintained via a CMS run by the Marketing secretary.

        Who barely knows how to spell, let alone write, and thus the site looks incredibly unprofessional. But hey, you get what you pay for. And the exec who set it up this way got a blowjob from the Marketing Boobs...er Secretary.

        Employers and employees are using Gmail and other cloud-based e-mail systems because the lines between personal and work IT space have become so blurred.

        Which works great right until either their net connection goes down, or Gmail has an outage, or AT&T's crappy network is shitting again, and they're bugging the IT guy to "FIX MY GMAIL ON MY IPHONE FIX MY GMAIL ON MY IPHONE FIX MY GMAIL ON MY IPHONE."

        Nobody needs help printing anymore, because an entire generation has been raised on the Internet and personal computer systems

        Right up until they jam the printer, or come up with a document with nonstandard margins, or do 1001 other things that the lusers always do.

        The level of competence in the average office is still right about zero. The difference today is that rather than having respect for the skills of those who can actually handle technology, the lusers have been told they have the right to treat IT staff as somewhere between the House N****r and Corporate Slave. Think about it. Would you stand over the guy fixing your car yelling "FIX IT FASTER I WANT IT NOW FIX IT FIX IT"? No? IT staff get that crap all day long. They are stuck in the no-win scenario wherein if required preventative maintenance means taking something offline for a couple hours, they are yelled at, but if they don't do the preventative maintenance, they get yelled at for not doing it when the system REALLY goes tits-up. They get nickeled and dimed for wanting to implement real security precautions such as proper firewalling and password security, but then blamed for "not doing enough" when Ditzy McSluttyboobs the secretary goes download-happy and unleashes half a dozen worms inside the corporate network.

        And increasingly, they're supposed to be "supporting" systems spread over so many locations and they're only given proper admin control over their own locality, meaning that they get yelled at for telling someone that the problem is at Site #3, and yes, it's being worked on, and no, they don't have the access to fix it directly here at Site #2, and then Dipshit McBrainlesssuit sends an email to his bosses about how things are "always down" and "these guys aren't doing their jobs" in order to try to "force" the poor IT guy to "work faster" on something that isn't even under his control.

      • by Rhaban (987410) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @11:37AM (#30655356)

        And employers will replace them with 20-something go-getters with better attitudes and more up-to-date skills, and at half the salary.

        I'd like to see how those 20-something will use their up-to-date skills when faced with my 80% cobol environment.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by assertation (1255714)

      Sounds like a great attitude for making yourself unhappy in your job and/or becoming unemployed.

      I agree with you, employers can't enforce the enthusiasm and company loyalty that promotes better productivity, but they can certainly chip away at it by taking away things.

    • by Another, completely (812244) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @11:15AM (#30655052)

      The travel expenses thing has gotten crazy for me. It's like the accountants think the company is doing me a favour letting me go to an exciting foreign hotel, experience the interior of exotic taxis, and meet the charming foreign customs officers. I do not consider it a perk, and being treated as guilty until proven innocent in claiming back the expensive "approved" hotel (instead of a more affordable and convenient one that's not on the list) is just enough to let me accept the less productive option of constant telephone meetings with people whose faces I have never seen.

      That is, I suppose, their goal. Reduced overhead looks good, while lost business and reduced productivity just looks like market forces that are being proactively addressed by more careful attention to reducing expenses. The accountants are taking important action to tighten belts and address the failing ability of the business divisions to deliver top-line growth. The damage they do to the company actually looks like a responsible way to address the business situation. I think they have cause and effect backwards, but it's their decision to make, not mine.

      • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @11:40AM (#30655392) Journal
        That last paragraph sums up exactly what is wrong with a lot of companies these days, what happens when you let the MBAs and the bean counters run the place. Cutting corners like this, but also outsourcing or the practise of firing staff and hiring contractors, sure looks good on the balance sheet... often because the cost is the same or higher but it'll be OpEx instead of CapEx, or comes out of a different budget. The truth is that in many cases these things end up costing the company dearly.

        Remember what they say about accountants: they know the cost of everything, but they don't have a clue about the value.
  • You make some mo'
  • by Zey (592528) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @10:53AM (#30654760)

    Anywhere that would cut out coffee from the budget is quite frankly insane. It's a minuscule expense compared to the HR budget and improves productivity dramatically when people would otherwise be flagging (early mornings for night owls, afternoons for early birds).

    The ability to provide free, legal performance enhancing drugs is one of the few negligible-cost productivity boost techniques available. You'd have to be both petty and highly incompetent as a manager to do away with it.

  • No bonuses? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jimbobborg (128330) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @10:53AM (#30654766)

    I haven't received a bonus in about two years. It was a $1000 check. And the only reason I got that little gift is that I MADE money for my company. One of the perks of being a contractor for a small company. Of course, that contract ended, so I went to work for a larger IT company, and haven't received a bonus since. Working directly for a company is nice, but contracting pays better.

  • Perk decrease has been going for a long time since dotbomb. In my previous company they used to have all kinds of free snacks (bagels, jams, cream cheese, fruits, salads) and happy hour with free hot food every Friday, then one sunny day it all ended abruptly, only caffeinated coffee remained (that reminded me of the practice of banana companies of the XIX century that encouraged workers to chew coca leaves).

    I work for government now and we do not have any free food at all. Good thing is that people can bri

  • by cryfreedomlove (929828) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @10:59AM (#30654856)
    I would sacrifice all of those perks for more paid time off. HP offers new employees something like 12 days PTO and then it schedules 10 days of forced shutdowns per year to get accumulated PTO off the books. This means any new employee gets 2, count them, 2 days to schedule at their own convenience. That's deeply disrespectful. (I don't work at HP but I have friends that do).
    • Not including official holidays.

      You want better working conditions? Then stop kowtowing to the man every chance you get.

      US (and british) companies have become VERY good at making employees think they are doing them a favor by employing them. It works great for them and allows them to fire people and make the rest glad they got a job in a recession that is SO bad not a SINGLE big company executive has had his/her bonuses cut. Odd that. 10% unemployment yet the bonuses for the top happen the same as before.

  • by Provocateur (133110) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @11:01AM (#30654870) Homepage

    We've long had a person head up a 'coffee club', collecting from the java
    junkies on the floor every month. Enough money was left to have a group lunch
    at month-end. AFAICT the coffee machine was there long before, industrial type
    -- 2 open carafes with an orange one for decaf, you probably saw one in a
    diner somewhere -- not the 10 or 12 cup coffeemakers you get from Costco.

    401K? Long gone from the employer's side, we're waiting for the first
    anniversary announcement, if they will reinstate their contribution. I feel
    less of a team player if they did not.

    Yup, not just in IT. This was the travel industry. Welcome to the club, gents.

  • 401k???? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lord Ender (156273) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @11:01AM (#30654888) Homepage

    Wait: we don't get pensions anymore. 401k contributions ARE our retirement plans. Cutting 401k is the same as saying "we care about you SO little, that we hope you die hungry and cold in your old age."

    • Re:401k???? (Score:4, Funny)

      by JoeWalsh (32530) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @11:18AM (#30655090)

      No, no, no! They're just trying to help you by encouraging you to be responsible for your own future. In the past, the company was stealing your opportunity to be fully responsible for your retirement. Now, they feel bad about that, and are giving that responsibility back to you. It's time to celebrate!

      Next month, they're going to stop stealing your opportunity to work twice as hard for half as much pay. It's a glorious future that your corporate masters have planned for you. Celebrate, slave, celebrate!

  • by rve (4436) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @11:05AM (#30654916)

    Some company perks that I just don't want and will never use:
    - I don't want a company celphone. I have my own phone, I don't want to have to keep track of business and private calls, I don't want my boss to get a list of all the calls I make in a month, and I don't want to have to carry around two phones. The company phone is lying in the closet, unused, the subscription fee is being paid for nothing.
    - I don't want a company laptop. I don't need one for my work (customers *naturally* never allow machines on their network that they didn't provide themselves). For private use, it's useless. It does not have the specs I would have chosen for my own laptop, and I'm not free to modify it or change the software on it. It's been lying in the closet, unused. It's worse than useless, as I can't justify buying one for myself as long as I "have a perfectly ok laptop gathering dust in the closet".
    - Company presentations preceeded by Paintball or Casino: please keep it serious and treat me like an adult. I don't come to the office to play games with colleagues, just give the presentation.
    - Free coffee: I don't care. It's nice if it's there, but it's such a minor issue that if they want to save the shockingly huge amount of money that goes into rent and support of these machines, by all means do so, I'm not going to work less hard if I have to buy my own drinks.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SharpFang (651121)

      You're wrong about company phone.
      Company phone is what you switch off the moment your work hours end. You use it on business travels, you use it during rush and in case you promise to be catchable.
      Private phone number is the one which you keep secret.

      As for laptop, YMMV. If you're a field technician, your company laptop will be invaluable for you because it has what your work requires, not what you would buy for yourself.

      Free coffee... only as long as I know the money they save on my coffee land in -my- poc

  • by Lazy Jones (8403) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @11:05AM (#30654918) Homepage Journal
    While in larger companies doing away with free coffee could be a sensible alternative to laying off perhaps 0.5% of the work force, you have to wonder about the margins and sustainability of a corporation that actually *needs* to do that. As for smaller companies - if they can't even afford free coffee, it must really suck to work there.

    I can only recommend managers to think about how much free for employees (good) food and drinks actually cost you compared to the part of the salaries that goes towards pizza/drinks at work otherwise, what the benefits are (healthier employees, less time wasted ordering stuff or going out to buy it) and how it may or may not make people feel more attached/loyal to your company. As for coffee - think of the headaches from caffeine deprivation you might induce if you don't provide it. ;-)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sandbags (964742)

      Coffee is a cost like any other. To support employees, certain costs are expected. A computer to sit at, an ergonomic chair, pens and paper, ink, janitorial services, bathroom supplies, phone and DID number, and more.

      A complete coffee service costs less than $1 per employee (that drinks it) per day if bought in industrial bulk. there are dozens of other costs that far exceed that. many companies simply use an honor system and place a can with a slot near the coffee pot and ask folks to spare $0.25 for

  • by jockeys (753885) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @11:23AM (#30655158) Journal
    industrial coffee maker (can make enough coffee, continuously, for at least 20 people) - $242.07
    http://www.amazon.com/VPR-Commercial-12-Cup-Pour-Over-Warmers/dp/B000BN7W84/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1262704523&sr=8-1 [amazon.com]

    cheap coffee (weeks supply for 20 people) - $14.50
    http://www.amazon.com/Folgers-Ground-Regular-PAG20015-Category/dp/B00006IDJO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1262704605&sr=1-2 [amazon.com]

    coffee filters (months supply for 20 people) - $5.23
    http://www.amazon.com/BUNN-BCF250-Commercial-Coffee-Filters/dp/B0006VNO7Y/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1262704669&sr=1-12 [amazon.com]

    so for about 250 initially and a monthly recurring cost of about 50 bucks. hmmm, 20 sleepy employees who are sluggish and inattentive for several hours a day (lets say 2 hours, or 1/4 of their shift). now, per employee that's a monthly cost of $2.50 to not diminish that 1/4 of their shift.

    how little would you have to be paying your employees to not think that's a good idea? pennies a day???

    furthermore, this isn't much of a cost cutting measure. even if I have 10,000 people working for me, I'm only paying $2500 a month to give them coffee (excluding the cost of the machines, which last a decade) or $30,000 per year, which is nothing for a 10,000 employee company.
  • by twmcneil (942300) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @11:24AM (#30655172)
    It's called the Juan Valdez Amendment to the Constitution. It's there really. Look it up. It guarantees all workers the right to free coffee during work hours. Ratification of that Amendment has been written into my employment contracts for over 20 years.
  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @11:27AM (#30655208)

    I'm a firm believer that if a business wants to show it cares, it'll say it with money. Because that's the only thing that matters to a business. if it's parting with cash in ways it does not absolutely have to, that says something. But barring that, there's cashless ways to show care. There's not much you can do if you're doing IT-as-a-service where you need to be available for fixed hours but if you're doing dev work that doesn't go on a fixed schedule, give flex time! You worked late during the week, take a half day Friday. Costs the company nothing, same amount of work is getting done. Need a dr's appointment? For the love of xod, we're not going to ding you four hours of vacation time for it.

    I don't really get the silly stuff like pool tables and video games. That just seems like prolonging time spent at work and in a non-productive fashion. I would put more of a premium on getting the max amount of work done in the shortest possible time so people can go home. Quality of life is about having a life outside the office. In-house masseuses, catered lunches every day, that seems a little wasteful. But cutting 401k, cutting fucking coffee? Major dick moves.

    Employers are doing it because it's an employer's market out there. But rest assured, these employers will reap what they sow. The best employees are always the most mobile employees. If your best feel dicked over or if there's even the slightest concern about company stability, they will be out the door in a heartbeat. And it's now accepted in IT culture that you will NEVER make more money at the same employer. The only way to raise your pay is to move to another organization because your current one will never justify paying more for the person they already have, no matter if you're learning new skills, taking on more work, or improving the bottom line.

  • by happy_place (632005) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @12:00PM (#30655716) Homepage
    My kids think the day I came home with office furniture, boxes of office supplies, company teeshirts, and random promotional paraphenalia as one of the best days of Daddy's working life. It was like Christmas to the kids for each of them to get a lucite paperweight with our latest chip in it. Of course, unbeknownst to them, it was the day the company folded, and I was laid off. Still kinda cracks me up... it's all about how you look at things, as to whether they're they end of the world, or just a new world of adventure. :)
  • by dghcasp (459766) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @01:02PM (#30656736)

    The pendulum swings one way, then back the other...

    Side 1: "If I can't wear sweat pants, bring my dog to work, have my own office, telecommute when I feel like it, and drink company-provided beer every day starting at 3:00, then I won't work here."

    Side 2: "You're 35 and you haven't had a heart attack yet? Perhaps I should replace you with someone who actually works hard."

  • by CodeBuster (516420) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @01:02PM (#30656740)
    TFA is a press hit from a PR firm people. Seriously, "Channel Insider"? They aren't even trying very hard to hide the fact that they are a bullshit marketing rag full of advertising copy, "special advertising sections" (you know the ones that try to disguise themselves as "articles" and actually useful content), and "articles" submitted by PR firms on behalf of paying clients to score a "Press Hit". I would put the credibility of anything coming out of "Channel Insider" at just about zero.

You can do this in a number of ways. IBM chose to do all of them. Why do you find that funny? -- D. Taylor, Computer Science 350

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