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This is a guest post from productivity writer Kayla Matthews.
Google is one of the most influential companies in the world, and doesn’t show signs of slowing down anytime soon. Besides being known as a powerhouse in the tech industry, Google is also famous for its company culture — notably as it relates to office perks. These perks are designed to increase employee productivity and wellness. Take a look below at four of the most popular employee benefits that Google offers!
1. Meditation Rooms
No matter your job, it’s likely that you’ve felt stressed at work on more than a few occasions. While Google already had rooms designated for napping (which have been shown to improve concentration and boost productivity), the company also decided to create meditation rooms to help employees further combat workplace stress. The thought process behind this was that when confronted with a stressful situation, employees would find it helpful to go to a space free of noise, turn off the lights, and focus on their breathing.
Google isn’t the only company employing this tactic to de-stress employees — companies like Yahoo, Nike, and HBO have followed suit. One company, Soma, found that offering 15 minutes of guided meditation time per day led to employees being more focused, relaxed, and happy in the office.
2. Access to Food
Everyone loves free food — and more companies are starting to offer it in the workplace as a way to boost employee satisfaction. One study showed that 67 percent of employees who receive free snacks at the office are “very” or “extremely” satisfied with their jobs.
Google goes above and beyond with its 150 Foot Rule, which dictates that employees should never be further than 150 feet away from a source of food. As a result, the corporation’s campuses are teeming with micro-kitchens, cafes, juice bars, and cafeterias that offer a variety of snacks, meals, and beverages.
While it would seem that offering free food as a perk is self-explanatory, Google has a specific reason for doing so. The company aims to encourage cross-collaboration across teams and employees that may not usually interact — and believes that food is a great way to bring “…different folks together and nudge them to interact and collaborate.” By providing communal spaces where employees can go to engage with each other over a coffee or lunch, Google is able to foster innovation and community.
3. Paid Parental Leave
Google offers some of the best paid parental leave in the country. Mothers are entitled to 22 to 24 weeks of maternity leave, and fathers and non-primary caregivers are entitled to 12 weeks.
The parental perks don’t end with paid time off, however. New parents can make use of Mothers’ Rooms and on-site childcare centers. Parents are also given $500 in “baby cash” to spend on activities related to caring for and bonding with their newborn.
4. Wellness Centers
As an employer dedicated to fostering its employees’ health and well-being, Google provides a variety of on-site health services. All of its wellness centers are fully staffed with physicians, and all services are covered by company-wide health care.
To help employees alleviate stress, Google has on-site massage therapists. Employees can award each other with massage credits after a job well done, which can then be redeemed for a free one-hour massage. In 2012, Google employees received more than 100,000 hours of subsidized massages.
An Employee-Centric Mission
All of these office perks speak to the importance Google places on taking care of its employees, rewarding good work, and promoting work-life balance. Together, the individual benefits — free food, massages, parental leave and more — help make employees feel appreciated and understood.
It’s not necessary that every company provide all of the benefits that Google does. What’s important is to have an employee-focused mission in mind and to apply it wherever possible — this will allow any company to create teams that feel valued and engaged.
Kayla Matthews is a business and productivity writer whose work has been featured on Houzz, Dwell, Digital Trends and WIRED. To read more by Kayla, visit ProductivityTheory.com, or follow her on Twitter.