By Todd Bernhard on Tue, 12/20/2016
Apple is building a major "spaceship" campus in Cupertino, but other Silicon Valley companies already have some offices that are pretty far out. Facebook and Google have campuses that make you wonder how any work gets done. In fact, if you watch Silicon Valley on HBO or Last Man on Earth on Fox, you get a glimpse of the fun environment many Silicon Valley startups and heavy hitters try to offer their employees. It's all about retention, since it's more expensive to find new talent than it is to keep it.
The other incentive to providing such incentives is to keep workers working. On-site dry cleaning, oil changes, and fancy chefs providing free food all mean that employees don't have to leave campus during the day. With Silicon Valley's congested roadways, this is smart business. Lunch hours don't take two hours. All of this culminates in improved employee satisfaction.
According to Glassdoor, Facebook, Google, Salesforce, LinkedIn (recently bought by Microsoft), and Adobe are among the top places to work. Apple is on the list, although only at 36, ahead of Microsoft but behind AirBnB. Of course, when Apple's new campus is complete, I would expect employee satisfaction to go up. Employees rank their workplaces anonymously on topics such as salary and "Best Places to Work."
It's interesting, to me at least, that I used to work at both Sun Microsystems and Netscape in Mountain View and Palo Alto, in the very buildings that are now owned by Facebook and Google. In fact, Mark Zuckerberg kept the Sun Microsystems' signage but rotated it, and put the Facebook logo where the back of the sign used to be. It's a daily reminder of how quickly fates can change. And while Silicon Valley is well represented, there are quite a few non-tech firms on the Glassdoor list, including #1 Bain Capital, which was how Mitt Romney made his fortune. Even In-and-Out Burger was ranked #7, so you never know!