Quick! Which NYC Workplace Gives Out Free Massages and Manicures?
Answer: Tumblr. But tech culture's juicy perks (nap rooms at Huffington Post, beer in the fridge at Vox) are beginning to influence traditional workplaces in NYC as well.
This story first appeared in the April 24 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
● Gourmet meals!
In 2014, Facebook opened its cafeteria, Desimone's, with chef Nathaniel Eckhaus (Park Central Hotel) at the helm. Before that, there was Conde Nast's Frank Gehry-designed cafeteria as well as Hearst's Cafe 57, known for sushi chefs who make the rolls to order as well as high-profile guest toques. "[Chef] Marcus Samuelsson was here recently," says Hearst Magazines president David Carey. "We always try to keep things moving, but there was quite a line for lunch that day." Conde recently left its chic canteen behind when it moved to One World Trade Center — where reviews have been less than favorable. The New York Post wrote that there's "nothing en vogue" about the spot.
● Celebrity visits!
Discounted Met Museum tickets are classic old-media perks, but tech companies have embraced cultural offerings too. Many digital firms also offer speaker series: Neil Patrick Harris and Amy Poehler were recently in at Twitter. Hearst offers a similar program, called Master Class, that has featured talks with Matthew Weiner and Barbra Streisand. At Time Inc., community groups — women in tech, media upstarts — host events on a variety of topics. "The big tech companies didn't invent employee perks," says Time exec vp Greg Giangrande. "They've been around forever at the media companies."
● Yoga and naps!
Subsidized gym memberships are a dime a dozen around town — Hearst even has its own gym — but tech companies often bring the workouts into the workplace. Yoga is offered at Yahoo and The Huffington Post, where snoozes in the employee nap rooms are smiled upon. At Tumblr, free massages and manicures are handed out once a month. Says Danielle Strle, Tumblr's director of culture and trends, "The camaraderie and fun vibe have attracted the coolest and smartest group of employees."
"We want our offices to be happy and comfortable places that foster community and creativity," says Vox Media editorial director Lockhart Steele. His company hosts social hours and wine tastings for employees and stocks the fridge with craft beer. Twitter, too, has employee happy hours. Says senior HR business partner Lynee Luque, "In our New York offices, we try to center our perks around socializing and convenience."