How to save money



  • We have 5 fairly large commercial refridgerators that the company keeps filled with assorted varieties of soda, coffee, milk, cream, etc. plus some vending machines. With nearly 1,000 employees frequenting the kitchens for their drinks and snacks, there is a lot of traffic to and from the kitchens.

    Some manager (who else?) decided that folks were wasting too much time going to the kitchens so they stopped supplying coffee, soda, milk, snacks and told folks they could pay for their own munchies, all in the name of saving the company money.

    Ok, the company has grown a lot since they started supplying this stuff, and maybe it was getting expensive to keep providing it. Maybe.

    However, everyone started going to the Starbucks two blocks away for their refreshments and snacks. Once there, some folks sit and chat for a while.

    How is this cheaper? If everyone goes only once a day for only 20 minutes round trip (there's always a line) as opposed to the 3 minutes to walk to and from the kitchen, that's ~283 hours of extra lost time each day, at $225 (billable) /hour = $63,750/day in lost productivity. There's no way we used anywhere near that much in stuff.

    But it's cheaper.

     

     



  • @snoofle said:

    How is this cheaper? If everyone goes only once a day for only 20 minutes round trip (there's always a line) as opposed to the 3 minutes to walk to and from the kitchen, that's ~283 hours of extra lost time each day, at $225 (billable) /hour = $63,750/day in lost productivity. There's no way we used anywhere near that much in stuff.

    Congratulations! You just figured out what Microsoft worked-out 20 years ago.

    Of course the problem is convincing your management of it... but just say Microsoft does it.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @snoofle said:
    How is this cheaper? If everyone goes only once a day for only 20 minutes round trip (there's always a line) as opposed to the 3 minutes to walk to and from the kitchen, that's ~283 hours of extra lost time each day, at $225 (billable) /hour = $63,750/day in lost productivity. There's no way we used anywhere near that much in stuff.

    Congratulations! You just figured out what Microsoft worked-out 20 years ago.

    Of course the problem is convincing your management of it... but just say Microsoft does it.

     

    But these longer trips may be to the point where they aren't counted as part of the workday (kinda like lunch) and so the company is not directly paying for them.  Of course I'm just wildly trying to justify something that management is doing which is almost always a bad idea.



  • @locallunatic: nope, it's during the 'work' part of the day. Since our only customer is an internal department, who are we really overbilling?



  • @locallunatic said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    @snoofle said:
    How is this cheaper? If everyone goes only once a day for only 20 minutes round trip (there's always a line) as opposed to the 3 minutes to walk to and from the kitchen, that's ~283 hours of extra lost time each day, at $225 (billable) /hour = $63,750/day in lost productivity. There's no way we used anywhere near that much in stuff.

    Congratulations! You just figured out what Microsoft worked-out 20 years ago.

    Of course the problem is convincing your management of it... but just say Microsoft does it.

     

    But these longer trips may be to the point where they aren't counted as part of the workday (kinda like lunch) and so the company is not directly paying for them.  Of course I'm just wildly trying to justify something that management is doing which is almost always a bad idea.

     

    Even taking the trip itself out of the workday and staying later, there's a massive cost in work interruption.

    This is a classic case of false economy, and it happens all the time.  To save a little bit of money, management eliminates a popular perk and pisses everyone off.  Then they wonder why morale is down.

    The worst part is, the total cost of providing this stuff was probably negligible in the whole budget.  By snoofle's calculation on lost productivity, they probably don't use that much in consumables over the course of a year.  Halfway decent coffee doesn't cost that much, nor does milk and cream, nor soda if you get it in large enough amounts.  It's a cheap perk that makes almost everyone a lot happier, and unless you're really scraping by and having to save every last dollar, you shouldn't even think about cutting it.  If it's been around long enough to be part of the company culture, leave it alone and find a smarter way to save money.



  • @Justice said:

    Even taking the trip itself out of the workday and staying later, there's a massive cost in work interruption.
     

    True, but there is also a lot of things that say that little breaks here and there boost productivity.  My meager understanding is because they relax and help focus work, while the normal costs of interruption are due to lost concentration in the middle of a task.  Sorta like an interruption is getting called while working on updating one block of code for a project, but the short break would occur when you are switching webpages or modules being updated and so there is already a transition of attention occuring.



  • but think of starbucks and other local coffee shops. By providing snacks you are putting other local business at risk of losing all their customers.



  • @jpolonsk said:

    but think of starbucks and other local coffee shops.

    No.



  • Having the employer-supplied coffee is a nice thing. 3 out of my 4 previous jobs provided some kind of "free coffee" option; two were the regular kind (kitchen staff makes the coffee), and my current employer has a shitty Nescafé vending machine with free shitty coffee. But hey, it's free. The "regular coffee" option I talk about was much better, and had the added advantage of having the option of using one of the company-supplied mugs, or bringing your own mug. Of course, I brought my WTF mug so my trips to the kitchen were fewer than everyone else. Except for the rare occasion that someone "mistakenly" took my mug. Really, when I'm the only one in the whole floor with a WTF mug, how the hell can someone "confuse" it?

    One big plus on your office providing the coffee is that by bringing your own mug, it makes you feel, well, more "at home" as you're drinking from  your own mug (be it the WTF mug, or the ACM Charles Babbage one) instead of some cardboard Starbucks thingy, or the crap that the Nescafe machine gives me. It's a small perk, but it boosts employee morale.



  • The developers in my department have incredibly high morale, because:

    1. They are told what to do, not how to do it.  (it's easier to just fire them if they have to be told how to do things)

    2.  Most of the time, they aren't event told what to do.  They usually figure out what needs improving on their own, and they learn priorities quickly.

    3.  Free unlimited 20-30 varieties of coffee.

    4.  Free unlimited Pepsi and Coke products.

    5.  Free beer and liquor (though with restrictions)

    6.  They can cuss out their boss for any reason or no reason at all.

    7.  They are considered elite within the company.

    8.   They are independent from all other departments.

    9.   Their expertise is never overriden by business management.

    10.  They basically have full discretion over when and how long they take breaks (see rule 6 if the boss objects, and rule 1 if it gets out of hand)

     The end result is so much productivity that a tiny IT staff with under half a dozen developers can run a massive, $100 million/year nationwide organization.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

     @hoodaticus said:

    The developers in my department have incredibly high morale, because: <snip utopia>
    Are you hiring? Seriously. I'm pretty sure I could LIVE there.



  • @Weng said:

     @hoodaticus said:

    The developers in my department have incredibly high morale, because: <snip utopia>
    Are you hiring? Seriously. I'm pretty sure I could LIVE there.

     No kidding. I could pretty much live on your free stuff alone, throw in a free matress in one of the climated server rooms and a shower and I'll be good. I pretty much live on programming and gizmos as it is 😃



  •  I wonder what the interview process is like.  Does it involve a gangland style blood-in?



  • @Weng said:

     @hoodaticus said:

    The developers in my department have incredibly high morale, because: <snip utopia>
    Are you hiring? Seriously. I'm pretty sure I could LIVE there.

    His fantasy company that exists only in his head can hire as many employees as it wants!

    I mean, seriously, I've worked for generous .coms before. (Hell, the company I'm with now *was* one three years ago.) That little utopic rant is just ridiculous.

    Also saying the IT supports a $100 million business doesn't mean much if the $100 million is conducted from 1 2U Dell server and a single guy named Wayne. How many *machines* and *employees* do you support? That's much more interesting to me.



  • A lot of this is dependent on how deeply management determines the cost/benefit ratio.

    However most management is incapable of making those determnations beyond the first, most obvious level.

    And we're getting more and more "pointy haired bosses" in management.

    Just do this --- Subtract the difference in IQ's between you and your manager from 100 and compare that number to an IQ Chart.

    Example - Employee IQ 180 , Manager IQ 120 -- Difference 60 -- Effective Manager IQ = 100 - 60  = 40:

    Manager Effective Scale : <FONT size=2>Severe Mental Retardation</FONT>

    <FONT size=2>There, feel better?</FONT>



  • Oh I wasn't trying to brag, blakeyrat, so I couldn't care less if you believe me.  I'm just hoping someone else out there notices and gives it a try in their own business.  Developers need high morale because they do creative work.  Once their morale plummets, they're almost useless.  Keeping them happy is just good business.

    This is exactly how a fashion label I worked for once treated their (fashion) designers; they actually had a large night club in the part of the building where the designers worked, complete with a bar.

    It's really smart, IMNSHO.



  • @jpolonsk said:

    but think of starbucks and other local coffee shops

    It's a cruel world.



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    Here is my list and opinion:

    7 System Administrators managing 3 Data Centers full of hardware.

    100% ownership of ~750 physical servers and 60 applications, including regulated services.  911, NG911, multiple hosted VoIP platforms (Small Business/Small Office Home Office/ Enterprise), CALEA, etc.  Too many different hardware, software, and OS vendors to list.  Our systems make hundreds of millions of dollars; one in particular brings in over $500 million per year.

    Partial ownership of ~500 network elements.

    Numerous other physical hardware is being transitioned with an actual loss of 1 head count, reduction in salary for some individuals, and no chance of raises or internal promotion for many.  

    We have to take up a collection each payday to purchase coffee and pay for bereavement flowers in the event someone dies.  In the past coffee was provided and bereavement was extended beyond immediate family.  The decision was made to stop all bereavement but the backlash was enough to reinstate for parents and siblings.  We donate for grandparents, in-laws, etc.

    We are provided a water cooler and sugar and creamer for our coffee though.  I have to justify the water, $50 per month, and ~$200 per year for sugar and creamer.  Luckily they are a contractual obligation.  We have to provide to a 3rd party my company spun off.

    A contingency for employment was reimbursement for high speed Internet since we were salaried employees, expected to work at home after hours, and manage critical system which not only impact call processing but are FCC reportable.  That was revoked.

    As someone in non-management but is responsible for submitting budgets and who has had some say in hiring each of these perks were taken into account when salaries were negotiated.  When an offer was presented the "free" coffee and Internet reimbursement was adjusted in the employees salary.  Nothing is free and it's a loss to the employee when it's revoked.  



  • It's not uncommon for companies to stop something that costs actual money (coffee, stationery, etc) without considering the impact it has on productivity (which also costs money but is a bit less tangible).

    Where I work we are provided with a coffee machine (beans go in the top, coffee comes out of the bottom) and beans, tea bags, instant coffee, milk and daily newspapers.  There's also beer and wine available which we have on Friday afternoon - generally a beer or two before heading home.

    It's a good place to work and these 'perks' would certainly be defended by the managers here.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @Weng said:

     @hoodaticus said:

    The developers in my department have incredibly high morale, because: <snip utopia>
    Are you hiring? Seriously. I'm pretty sure I could LIVE there.

    His fantasy company that exists only in his head can hire as many employees as it wants!

    I mean, seriously, I've worked for generous .coms before. (Hell, the company I'm with now *was* one three years ago.) That little utopic rant is just ridiculous.

    Also saying the IT supports a $100 million business doesn't mean much if the $100 million is conducted from 1 2U Dell server and a single guy named Wayne. How many *machines* and *employees* do you support? That's much more interesting to me.

    As a concrete example that his metric is useless, we support a $200 million division with the same number of people and I consider us to be fairly inefficient.  Apparently the utopia concept doesn't actually create real productivity.  My whole company supports $500 million per day in sales with a few thousand IT staff.


  • @RTapeLoadingError said:

    It's not uncommon for companies to stop something that costs actual money (coffee, stationery, etc) without considering the impact it has on productivity (which also costs money but is a bit less tangible).

    Where I work we are provided with a coffee machine (beans go in the top, coffee comes out of the bottom) and beans, tea bags, instant coffee, milk and daily newspapers.  There's also beer and wine available which we have on Friday afternoon - generally a beer or two before heading home.

    It's a good place to work and these 'perks' would certainly be defended by the managers here.

    We got one of those Starbucks coffee machines that grinds the beans and makes cocoa. We got, lessee, tea bags in about 8 varieties, traditional coffee machines on some floor for when people don't want to take the stairs to the Starbucks machine, no milk or newspapers. We do have a foozball table on one floor and an Xbox on two floors.

    Oh, and one of our biggest customers is a brewery, so tons of free beer. They were going to run a truck to deliver it, but it turns out you can't get a beer delivery in Seattle unless you have a liquor license, and you can't get a liquor license in an office building... so our facilities guy just keeps it all stocked.

    The 13th floor does Monkey Bar every friday at 3:00, with a wide selection of beer and some select special drinks that rotate in each week. They aren't technically in the same company as us anymore, but it's not like they kick us out when we go down there to drink.

    Anyway, things are good now, but I can guarantee the Frenchies who bought us are going to dispose of all of these perks in a matter of months. Damned French.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @RTapeLoadingError said:

    It's not uncommon for companies to stop something that costs actual money (coffee, stationery, etc) without considering the impact it has on productivity (which also costs money but is a bit less tangible).

    Where I work we are provided with a coffee machine (beans go in the top, coffee comes out of the bottom) and beans, tea bags, instant coffee, milk and daily newspapers.  There's also beer and wine available which we have on Friday afternoon - generally a beer or two before heading home.

    It's a good place to work and these 'perks' would certainly be defended by the managers here.

    We got one of those Starbucks coffee machines that grinds the beans and makes cocoa. We got, lessee, tea bags in about 8 varieties, traditional coffee machines on some floor for when people don't want to take the stairs to the Starbucks machine, no milk or newspapers. We do have a foozball table on one floor and an Xbox on two floors.

    Oh, and one of our biggest customers is a brewery, so tons of free beer. They were going to run a truck to deliver it, but it turns out you can't get a beer delivery in Seattle unless you have a liquor license, and you can't get a liquor license in an office building... so our facilities guy just keeps it all stocked.

    The 13th floor does Monkey Bar every friday at 3:00, with a wide selection of beer and some select special drinks that rotate in each week. They aren't technically in the same company as us anymore, but it's not like they kick us out when we go down there to drink.

    Anyway, things are good now, but I can guarantee the Frenchies who bought us are going to dispose of all of these perks in a matter of months. Damned French.

    Kiss the perks goodbye.  We have what is affectionately referred to as the "no fun rule".  Every expediture has to be linked to a profit forecast.  If we wanted a company paid party, we'd have to write up a document showing the monetary benefits we expect from the morale boost and we would have to track it to see if it happened.  A Christmas party for the whole company would probably cost at least a half million dollars, that's not a lot when stacked next to our cash flow, but somebody can make a really big points at a shareholders meeting or on CNN by saying someone approved a nearly six-figure party.

    We get free coffee and paid training, nothing else.  However, we do get good pay and good benefits.



  • Honestly, I'm not interested in attending big company parties. The free coffee/tea is an okay perk, I guess.... but give me decent work, reasonable hours in a nice environment, and fair pay, and I'll be fine.

    (I'm pretty fine.)



  •  @snoofle said:


    How is this cheaper? If everyone goes only once a day for only 20 minutes round trip (there's always a line) as opposed to the 3 minutes to walk to and from the kitchen, that's ~283 hours of extra lost time each day, at $225 (billable) /hour = $63,750/day in lost productivity. There's no way we used anywhere near that much in stuff.

     

    That is assuming you get paid while outside of the building, which is generaly unacceptable in most companies (and except  their policiy to change as soon as they find out your calculation). This is also assuming everyone in the company goes outside to get a coffee. This is also assuming the billed price of consultant is that same as what they cost to the hiring company. If you take a reasonable 1/3 of the company moving his ass to the starbuck during work hour. And you compare with majority of company getting 2 or 3 times a day to the coffee machine in the kitchen for 3x3minutes, the balance imho is nearly null.

     

    On the otherside i quite agree removing such things as the soda machine from the kitchen is stupid. I would have just made it non free 🙂



  • @tchize said:

    That is assuming you get paid while outside of the building, which is generaly unacceptable in most companies (and except  their policiy to change as soon as they find out your calculation).

    IT workers in the non-Belgium parts of the world are salaried. Well, except the helpdesk grunts.

    @tchize said:

    This is also assuming everyone in the company goes outside to get a coffee.

    Safe assumption.

    @tchize said:

    This is also assuming the billed price of consultant is that same as what they cost to the hiring company.

    Since we're talking about lost revenue, the billed price is the correct one to reference.

    @tchize said:

    If you take a reasonable 1/3 of the company moving his ass to the starbuck during work hour.

    Seriously? More like... 3/4ths doing it once a day, 1/3rd going twice a day. And in my company, 1/4th just taking their laptop and working at the coffeeshop anyway because our offices are so ugly.

    @tchize said:

    And you compare with majority of company getting 2 or 3 times a day to the coffee machine in the kitchen for 3x3minutes, the balance imho is nearly null.

    The good news for me is that I'm in Seattle where they's literally at least 2 coffeeshops on every block, so it's not like there's a lot of travel time involved. Hell, our building has a Tully's in the lobby.

    But when I used to work at Microsoft, I'd need to drive 5-6 miles to get to the nearest non-MS coffeeshop. (Of course, MS isn't a retarded company, so every building had a coffeeshop IN it. And all the free stuffs listed in this thread. But if they hadn't, it would have been a drive.)

    @tchize said:

    On the otherside i quite agree removing such things as the soda machine from the kitchen is stupid. I would have just made it non free 🙂

    Are you Dilbert's pointy-haired boss? What are you doing posting here?



  •  Where do you guys work? seriously?  I've never seen any of this sort of thing... beer at work? maybe when I used to work at a machine shop, even then it didn't get drank till friday evening.  geez.  best perks I've seen in the last 7-8 years has been free royal cup coffee, which tastes a whole lot like potting soil, and one place charged us 50 cents a cup for that.  Sometimes free sodas. Once i was able to get a partial reimbursement on my home internet access because we were required to rotate a support pager 24-7 but they stopped that after 3 months.  I worked there for a year and a half, doing third tier support the whole time. shit the past two years i've been very lucky to get a desk, something i dont have at my current position.  last year my team squatted in various meeting rooms and hallways for a whole month! The BA's got stuck literally in a 'repurposed' closet that once held cleaning supplies. 

    I do get a nice rate usually, and trust me that's the ONLY thing keeping me in this industry... but certainly no parties, free food, alcohol... and these are big companies.  like revenue in the billions a year.  maybe i need to move.



  • Free Beer and other alcoholic beverages--only on Fridays near closing time and not all Fridays

    Free sugar treats and coffe:  Yep.

    Inside the building shop: Yep, they do charge a bit more but it saves you the trouble of going out to get it.  There is also a lounge and a kitchen.

    However I don't drink coffee, nor sugar treats nor alcohol so... 



  • @CaptainCaveman said:

    I do get a nice rate usually, and trust me that's the ONLY thing keeping me in this industry... but certainly no parties, free food, alcohol... and these are big companies.  like revenue in the billions a year.  maybe i need to move.

    Where do you live? Is "Royal cup coffee" Canadian?

    If a company in Seattle subjected you to that, they'd have mass-quittings until they either figured it out or went bankrupt. I could see an east coast IBM-alike doing it, due to the general misanthropy required to sell Lotus Notes with a straight face.



  •  Well they did kind of  the same in our company a year ago. We've got this large soda vending machines and until last year you could get drinks for free, which was great.
    Then came the economic crisis along (sigh) and they had to cut costs. Among other things, some brighthead calculated that if people are to pay for these drinks, the company would save a whopping €50.000 per year (we are a large international company, btw)

    Morale at that time was already kind of low because of a reorganisation (they fired a lot of people) and this didn't really help.

     

    Although coffee remained free..




  • @CaptainCaveman said:

    Where do you guys work? seriously?
     

    Certainly not at the crap places you've found yourself.

     

    We have free coffee from an expensive machine that makes aweosme coffee. I hate coffee so I don't drink the slop; I'm more of a tea man. For this, there is a fine assortment of flavours available.

    Also, soft drinks on the house, fruit, and packets of crisps/chips/whatever you call them depending on whether you're Brit or 'Mercun. Cup-a-soups we got, but I only do those occasionally. Very salty.

    We organize our own lunch, for about €2/$3 a day.



  • In the you-think-that's-bad stakes, I might have you all beat when it comes to coffee - although it's not from the tech world. At one time some years ago, I worked in a Starbucks-clone coffee chain for a short while. When I started there, employees were entitled to as much free coffee (to drink at work) as they liked - maybe a couple of espresso shots each per day, on average. The whole company was a bit amateurish, but the original founders had a really good culture of care for their employees, even if they paid them like shit. At the time, if you were working in another chain, you'd rather have been working for us. Then in came venture capitalists and preparations for an IPO. Apart from liberally insulting the amazingly overqualified and dedicated staff, they also decided to remove any perk they could see as part of their preparations for their IPO, and start charging their own damn baristas full whack for a coffee. Unsurprisingly, they lost every member of staff who could make a coffee without burning the water, and went extremely bust not long after.

    As false economies go, that's quite something. I know for a fact that their cost accounting said an espresso shot cost less than 3p (including capital costs), so the average yearly cost per employee was less than £5.00 - or roughly a single hour at minimum wage. It would have been stupid anyway, because although there was a bit more cost for the extra bits and bobs - cream, marshmallows, etc - the baristas used, some of the company's best drinks had been invented by baristas messing around for themselves. In fact, though, this was enough to scupper the IPO on its own, costing the shareholders somewhere between £10 million and £100 million.



  • @CaptainCaveman said:

    Where do you guys work? seriously?  I've never seen any of this sort of thing... beer at work?
     

    Australia.

    Like serguey though, it's a Friday afternoon thing although that has never been mandated.  We realise that free beer at work is a perk that could be taken away if abused so nobody ever does.

    Also, pay and conditions are good here to.

     



  • I am really spoiled...

     My company has a breakroom with a bunch of free "healthy" snacks (fresh fruit, pretzels, baked/organic chips, string cheese, yogurt, diet pop, juice, milk, cereal, peanut buter, bread/crackers, etc).  They also bring in bagels, popcorn or some other specialty snack once a week on Wednesdays.  They also offer free DVD rentals.  Because I am technically on-call 24/7, I also get full reimbursement for my smartphone and cable internet (which adds up to about $100/month).  The on-call aspect isn't a big deal, because I usually only have to deal with something once or twice per week.  The IT department has a secure, private office (behind a locked door with a buzzer).  They have a generous match on the 401(K) and ridiculously cheap insurance (my premiums are only about $22/month) and I get about $800/year from the company toward my HSA.  They also reimburse almost the entire cost of my gym membership.  I can also get pretty much anything I ask for (training, software, etc.)  The job has its drawbacks (I am the only developer/dba on a very small IT staff), but it would take a lot to make me move elsewhere.  I've heard they haven't given raises in a while because of the economy, but I'm earning 20% more than at my last job, so I'd be OK for a while...



  • @CaptainCaveman said:

     ...free royal cup coffee, which tastes a whole lot like potting soil ....

    What do you expect?  It was only ground this morning.

    Boom! Boom!



  • @LoztInSpace said:

    What do you expect?  It was only ground this morning.
     

    Padum fucking tish.



  • @RTapeLoadingError said:

    @CaptainCaveman said:

    Where do you guys work? seriously?  I've never seen any of this sort of thing... beer at work?
     

    Australia.

    Like serguey though, it's a Friday afternoon thing although that has never been mandated.  We realise that free beer at work is a perk that could be taken away if abused so nobody ever does.


    My work used to have beer o'clock on Fridays, but we haven't had that for a while. We have picked up a beer company since, but they haven't supplied too many samples 😕

    However they pay for a weekly personal training session, but we have Merlo coffee and a few different types of tea (with a fancy tea-maker). In the last year they have been really good at buying software and hardware. It only took 2 hours to get a RAM upgrade, for example. @RTapeLoadingError said:

    Also, pay and conditions are good here to.
    I used to go to the beach at lunch (5 minute bike ride away), but the office moved so now it's a 20 minute drive away... Good conditions? 😃


  • @Zemm said:

    I used to go to the beach at lunch (5 minute bike ride away), but the office moved so now it's a 20 minute drive away... Good conditions? 😃
     

    Appalling! Inhuman! 

    Funny that I live 8 miles from a beach yet never visit.



  • @Zemm said:

    However they pay for a weekly personal training session, but we have Merlo coffee and a few different types of tea (with a fancy tea-maker). In the last year they have been really good at buying software and hardware. It only took 2 hours to get a RAM upgrade, for example.

    Oh I forgot to mention, our IT guys are pretty great when the Frenchies aren't forcing them into stupid shit. When I wanted to plug in a third monitor, I put in a ticket and the next morning I just had a video card sitting on my desk. The IT guy came by and he's like, "you can just install that right?" Yup! Awesome.

    @Zemm said:

    I used to go to the beach at lunch (5 minute bike ride away), but the office moved so now it's a 20 minute drive away... Good conditions? 😃

    I'm like 3 blocks from the beach, but it's Seattle so the "beach" is a pile of rocks, and the water's 30 degrees. So...



  • @blakeyrat said:

    When I wanted to plug in a third monitor, I put in a ticket and the next morning I just had a video card sitting on my desk. The IT guy came by and he's like, "you can just install that right?"
     

    Sweet! In my case, I generally gave to give the controller an exact link to the webshop item I wish to obtain and then go over to his office anyway, but it's otherwise the same.



  •  At my company we get free coffee and tea (make it ourselves). There are free coffee machines (Nescafé yuk), and a vending machine for cooldrinks and sweets. We do get to have some beers on friday afternoons as long as we keep it quiet and dont get out of hand, and we have a BBQ on the first friday of every month.



  • From what I can tell all the people responding to this thread and detailing their perks seem to be at the 'do work' level of their companies.  And we all seem to be saying the same thing: that the money spent providing a nice a work environment, one where you don't feel like you're being squeezed for every last cent, is actually a good investment as happy employees are likely to be more prodcutive.  Giving your staff one less reason to leave is probably a good thing as well.

    Are there any managerial types reading this who might have a different take on this?



  • @RTapeLoadingError said:

    Are there any managerial types reading this who might have a different take on this?
    I've done my share of management, in various businesses. The only major non-mechanical aspects of the job are finding and retaining good staff. Treating your staff well is the only way to retain people who have a choice - and good people always have a choice.

    This is, however, a long view. There are lots of people thinking in the short term, either because they're only there for a short while, or because they're incapable of long-term thinking. The number of false economies you can see in all areas suggests it's not just a staff thing. Every now and again, as well, you run into the demon manager from hell: gets moved in, cuts investment, lowers costs, improves figures in the short term, gets moved on, next bloke takes the flak as all the good staff have left and productivity drops, making the demon manager look even better.



  • @davedavenotdavemaybedave said:

    Every now and again, as well, you run into the demon manager from hell: gets moved in, cuts investment, lowers costs, improves figures in the short term, gets moved on, next bloke takes the flak as all the good staff have left and productivity drops, making the demon manager look even better.
     

    I read somewhere a while ago an offhand comment that basically every american president suffers from this effect, because there exist social, economical and politcal effects that are a) nearly unstoppable and b) take more than 4 years to play out.



  • @dhromed said:

    @davedavenotdavemaybedave said:

    Every now and again, as well, you run into the demon manager from hell: gets moved in, cuts investment, lowers costs, improves figures in the short term, gets moved on, next bloke takes the flak as all the good staff have left and productivity drops, making the demon manager look even better.
     

    I read somewhere a while ago an offhand comment that basically every american president suffers from this effect, because there exist social, economical and politcal effects that are a) nearly unstoppable and b) take more than 4 years to play out.

     

    This, though one might make an exception for Franklin Roosevelt.

    You can see it quite clearly right now: the Bush administration spent eight years doing incredibly unwise things to our fiscal and education policies, as well as starting two largely useless wars. Some of the worst effects of their bad decisions weren't fully realized until after Bush left office (or at least until after he was elected the second time). 



  • @Someone You Know said:

    @dhromed said:

    @davedavenotdavemaybedave said:

    Every now and again, as well, you run into the demon manager from hell: gets moved in, cuts investment, lowers costs, improves figures in the short term, gets moved on, next bloke takes the flak as all the good staff have left and productivity drops, making the demon manager look even better.
     

    I read somewhere a while ago an offhand comment that basically every american president suffers from this effect, because there exist social, economical and politcal effects that are a) nearly unstoppable and b) take more than 4 years to play out.

     

    This, though one might make an exception for Franklin Roosevelt.

    You can see it quite clearly right now: the Bush administration spent eight years doing incredibly unwise things to our fiscal and education policies, as well as starting two largely useless wars. Some of the worst effects of their bad decisions weren't fully realized until after Bush left office (or at least until after he was elected the second time). 

    But to be fair, Presidents, especially Bush, are only about 1/3rd administrators, and about 2/3rds scapegoats.

    Which branch of the government controls the budget? Not the Executive branch. Which branch has the power to declare war? Not the Executive branch. Yet those two things, Bush constantly gets slammed for. (Of course the same applies to Obama, Clinton, etc.)

    Now that said, the Executive branch is extremely unreasonably huge right now, and getting bigger every day, but they aren't magical genies of government, secretly in charge of everything ever. I'd love to see a President say to the press, "look, idiots, Congress approved that budget, go fucking whine about Congress for awhile huh?"



  • @Someone You Know said:

    This, though one might make an exception for Franklin Roosevelt.

    And possibly Truman and his "The Buck Stops Here" philosophy. But since I wasn't alive then, I really can't be sure.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    I'd love to see a President say to the press, "look, idiots, Congress approved that budget, go fucking whine about Congress for awhile huh?"
     

    I can totally picture Obama doing that.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @Someone You Know said:

    @dhromed said:

    @davedavenotdavemaybedave said:

    Every now and again, as well, you run into the demon manager from hell: gets moved in, cuts investment, lowers costs, improves figures in the short term, gets moved on, next bloke takes the flak as all the good staff have left and productivity drops, making the demon manager look even better.
     

    I read somewhere a while ago an offhand comment that basically every american president suffers from this effect, because there exist social, economical and politcal effects that are a) nearly unstoppable and b) take more than 4 years to play out.

     

    This, though one might make an exception for Franklin Roosevelt.

    You can see it quite clearly right now: the Bush administration spent eight years doing incredibly unwise things to our fiscal and education policies, as well as starting two largely useless wars. Some of the worst effects of their bad decisions weren't fully realized until after Bush left office (or at least until after he was elected the second time). 

    But to be fair, Presidents, especially Bush, are only about 1/3rd administrators, and about 2/3rds scapegoats.

    Which branch of the government controls the budget? Not the Executive branch. Which branch has the power to declare war? Not the Executive branch. Yet those two things, Bush constantly gets slammed for. (Of course the same applies to Obama, Clinton, etc.)

    Now that said, the Executive branch is extremely unreasonably huge right now, and getting bigger every day, but they aren't magical genies of government, secretly in charge of everything ever. I'd love to see a President say to the press, "look, idiots, Congress approved that budget, go fucking whine about Congress for awhile huh?"

     

    Yes, that's a good point. But much of the time the president is just the most visible member of a power bloc of like-minded officials spread across the entire government, which is what I really meant by "the Bush administration". The balance of power between such groups often shifts too quickly for any group to accomplish anything useful.

    Just to be a pedantic dickweed: it's true that only Congress has the power to declare war, but they haven't actually done so since 1942. The President can deploy military forces outside the United States for up to two months without Congressional approval, according to the War Powers Resolution of 1973. Admittedly, the Executive Branch did secure Congressional approval for both the wars started during the George W. Bush era, but at least in the case of the Iraq War they did so by deliberately deceiving Congress as to the nature of the threat.



  • @tchize said:

    That is assuming you get paid while outside of the building, which is generaly unacceptable in most companies

     

    wtf?  Do you get bathroom breaks?



  • The company I work for is marginally awesome in my eyes, although I'm sure it's better than a lot of coding sweatshops. Free lunch every day, free beers and snacks every Friday afternoon, free cake when it's someone's birthday, free coffee and tea. There's also a snacks cupboard that's constantly kept stocked, from which employees can buy at near-cost price. And my favourite perk - employees get to buy hardware at cost and get it brought to us by the network admin/hardware guy. (This is especially relevant in good ol' SA because computer gear generally costs at least 33% more than in the Stats/Europe, and sometimes up to double the price.)<br /

    My only major issues are that sodas aren't free (I don't drink coffee/tea), the lunch is sometimes dodgy (we have a few vegans who occasionally attempt to foist their agenda on us) and the hardware we're supplied with isn't the greatest (and getting an upgrade is like pulling teeth). But it's a great working environment overall.


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