Despite the fairy tales and folk lore, living in the Valley isn’t all perks.
For starters, the cost of living has officially gone astronomical; if the idea of living out of a truck doesn’t bring about happy thoughts, the next best alternative might be a humble two bedroom apartment well north of $2000 a month. And be prepared: it has become standard for landlords to verify that an applicant’s income is at least three times the cost of rent. Prospective tenants can also expect fierce competition from others due to the severe lack of affordable alternatives in the area.
When it comes down to it, no matter where you are, you’ll probably be living out of a vehicle anyway – most people face a crippling commute or a terrible excuse for public transportation.
Despite all that, we all know why people flock to the Valley: the startup and tech scene. The business ecosystem in Silicon Valley stands unrivaled in its access to diversity, talent, and venture capital funding. It also boasts a regional culture that believes comfort is the key to productivity, which means that there are more than a few places to work that can ease those tenant and travel pains. Many of them, you probably don’t hear about as often as you should…
Atlassian – San Francisco, CA
This developer of collaboration and tracking software sports numerous Fortune awards. Fully covered health care for dependants and paid volunteer time are perks designed to foster a “team” feel in the workplace, home, and community.
Riot Games – Santa Monica, CA
Ok, so the League of Legends creator’s Santa Monica office isn’t actually in Silicon Valley. But besides ranking on Best Workplaces for Millennials and Best Companies to Work for 2015, employees enjoy numerous benefits such as an annual allowance to buy games and unlimited PTO, which they believe keeps employees focused on their core customer; the player.
AdRoll – San Francisco, CA
With a huge focus on having fun and pride in your work, AdRoll seems to hold true to the old saying, “choose a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life.” Weekly team dinners, randomly paired lunches, and trivia nights sound more like parts of a close-knit social club than perks of a job.
OpenDNS – San Francisco, CA
If making a difference in what you do is the most important job factor, then OpenDNS nails it. With 100% of employees reporting satisfaction in their accomplishments and 99% reporting a feeling of freedom and transparency when exchanging ideas, there’s no doubt this level of positive energy would be contagious to new hires. Speaking of which, OpenDNS grew their workforce 60% just two years ago.
Eventbrite.com – San Francisco, CA
It makes perfect sense that the company responsible for so many live events and social experiences would include perks close to its heart. “Brite Talks,” for example, are lunchtime events for employees to teach or attend a lesson on something interesting like photography. Add to that quarterly hackathons, talent shows, and more to keep the work environment fresh.
Credit Karma – San Francisco, CA
Glassdoor reviews are generally positive and reveal a high level of urgency in Credit Karma’s mission. Besides taking part in educating consumers about debt and credit worthiness, the more musically inclined employees can also enjoy a quick jam session in specially fitted sound room during breaks.
NetApp – Sunnyvale, CA
In addition to college tuition reimbursement and paid volunteering, the data storage company allows employees to “borrow” extra time off so they can arrange for their dream vacation at their dream length.
In-N-Out Burger – Multiple Locations
The west coast’s favorite burger joint fared well on Glassdoor, coming in at #8 for this year’s 50 best places to work. There are no shiny perks in the “modern” sense, but who can say no to free food and industry-leading pay?
Central Computers – Multiple Locations
Though retail is not the first thing to come to mind here, the reason is simple: flexible management and solid training for when it’s time to move on. Working on the B2B side allows you to hone your soft skills and provides opportunities to make contacts within client organizations like Google, SanDisk, and Nvidia. Deep employee discounts, dinners, sales perks, and frequent gifts from ownership are common.
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