Employee Perks or Pure Profits?

In the year 2015, as a young professional starting my career in the consulting industry, I was beyond joy when I landed myself a job straight out of college. Having a source of income is a big boost to confidence. But, my happiness didn’t limit itself. As I joined, I was thrilled to know that my company offered complimentary meals, transportation, and even reimbursements for late-night snacks. I just had to bring my b*** to work and that’s it. The company took care of the rest!

As I became experienced, I suddenly started understanding that spending long hours in the office was the norm. And, people loved it. They loved the sense of superiority that came with great perks where they didn’t have to move a finger to get delicious food or spend a minute in the hustle of the public transport, no matter what time of the day it was. I will not lie — I loved it too! But what I soon realized was that these perks were not just a sign of generosity, but a calculated move by the company.

Let’s do some math…

Different people spent different hours in the office. But, most people spent at least 10 hours. Some of them, who were young college graduates, spent between 12 to 14 hours. We will do some rough back-of-the-napkin calculations to see why the perks were my company’s secret weapon.

Earnings:

  • For the junior associate, the per-hour fee that the company charged clients was $40
  • Without transportation and food, no one was going to stay beyond 8 hours. But with these perks, most people clocked 10–14 hours, resulting in an average earning of $480 per associate (for 12 hours) as opposed to $320 per associate

Spending:

  • The company didn’t pay any overtime or extra salary for extra hours
  • Reimbursements of $10 per person were given for late-night snacks or dinner
  • $1.25 per day was spent on food per person which gave us access to delicious food at our office cafeteria at subsidized rates with no contribution from our side
  • The company spent $16.5 on transportation per person every day, including private cabs for associates staying late

Profits?

Certainly! By providing perks and making employees feel special, the company earned an additional $130 per person per day. Yup, that’s right. It’s essential to note that the above estimation doesn’t take into account other costs like licenses, phone calls, coffee machines, building rent, etc as these are common in both scenarios. However, it gives an idea of how much companies could be earning by providing these small comforts to their employees.

Conclusion

In conclusion, perks make employees feel special and cared for, and it’s something that employees look forward to. However, it’s important to understand that companies are actually making a profit by providing them. As employees, we should be aware of these perks, and how they contribute to the company’s bottom line. It’s also important to have a good work-life balance and to not burn ourselves out while trying to take advantage of these perks. Cheers!

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