Gourmet meals, snack bars and free beer! | Work Series

I used to work for a very large multi-national company in a small town on the East coast of Canada.

Read time: just over a min.

As you may have guessed, we were in the middle of somewhat nowhere. The company was very reputable and one of the best places that I have worked. Attracting and retaining talents from different parts of the world in such places could be challenging, and this company was no different.

The employer made sure that the employees were comfortable and all essential services and facilities were easily accessible. A great library, a coffee shop, squash court, fitness club were some of the additional perks on top of various employee benefits.

Employee comfort was at the forefront, and I don’t believe they were decoys to lure the employees to not look around for other opportunities or remain anchored to their desks.

Those perks were in place way before my time, and even much before Silicon Valley became ‘the Silicon Valley.’

Speaking of the Silicon Valley. I am sure you must have heard about those major giants whose benefits include gourmet meals, unlimited vacation, in-house basketball court, game rooms, snack bars, laundry service, nap rooms, free beer and more.

Those are just over the top. No expense spared to take good care of their employees. How fortunate, right? Think again.

Where is the catch?

The luxury offered in such offices is so lavish that one doesn’t need to leave the office campus. It often blurs the line between work and play, and as such, one ends up spending all their time at work.

On the surface, it looks pretty generous for the employers to make their staff extra comfortable. Consider the free dinner for employees who stay late or breakfast if they stayed overnight. How is staying late or overnight a benefit? There’s a correlation between the companies with these kinds of benefits and the companies that expect their staff to devote all their waking and sleeping hours to push work to the max.

Now, coming back to those ‘unfortunate’ ones like me, I don’t have those Silicon Valley perks, but I am not expected to brave an all-nighter each night or spend all my weekend working. Don’t get me wrong. I work very hard and devote myself to my work. I also have a life that I go back to each evening.


If you ever feel left out or let down due to the absence of some heavy perks, just remember there is no free lunch. Ever. Those hefty perks come with an unwritten all-day work rule. Those don’t sound like benefits, but ball and chain to keep you tied to the ‘desk.’

Gourmet meals, snack bars and free beer, and ball and chain.

Thank you for reading.

Until next week.


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