Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The ultimate employee benefit at Microsoft

Microsoft is known for an amazingly generous employee benefits package that’s the envy of any employee anywhere (except perhaps a Google-ite). 

Here is just a short list of some of the benefits Microsoft offers its “blue badgers” (in other words, its FTE’s… in other words, full-time employees – which, unfortunately, I am not):

  • 100% health coverage (employee and family – including vision and dental)
  • No payroll contribution
  • No deductible
  • 100% prescription drug coverage (and no formulary list)
  • Health club membership
  • 8 weeks paid maternity/paternity leave
  • $5000 toward adoption
  • Childcare discounts (with total back-up care)
  • Life insurance
  • Disability insurance (ahem!)
  • Matching 401K
  • Discounted employee stock plan
  • Tuition assistance
  • Matching charitable contributions (a huge boon to local schools where Microsofties’ kids’ attend)
  • Discounted financial services (and discounted rates all over the region – just show ‘em your badge!)
  • Lots of vacation (though I’d guess most are too swamped to take it?!)
  • Free bus pass for Puget Sound region (worth thousands!)
  • Microsoft commuter buses
  • A company store where employees can buy most Microsoft software for $10.
  • Free drinks (juices, sodas, coffee, etc… but interestingly, not bottled water!)
  • And of course, those services that keep you at work longer and living your life less: “Free grocery delivery, on-site dry cleaning and laundry services, convenience shopping, and dinners to go help you enjoy time saving conveniences.”

  The free drinks gig is pretty nice (these coolers are everywhere on campus) and I’ll occasionally grab a soda or two, just to stock up…


And the Starbuck’s coffee is free and endlessly flowing – and ground just for you…


Pretty cool, eh? 

But you know what they forgot to mention?  THIS:


That’s right – FREE TAMPONS at Microsoft!  See…?


Obviously (see blog banner), this is a benefit that really doesn’t apply to me, but still – how many companies do you know that offer to bring your groceries and dry cleaning to you at work… and that attend to your personal hygiene needs?

And while we’re swooning over Microsoft benefits, why don’t we go ahead and swoon a bit over the newest buildings on the mammoth Microsoft campus (its hundreds of buildings basically blanket all of Redmond, Washington), “The Commons.”  You can read more about it here, but suffice it to say, veeeerrrry cool!

I think I know where I’ll be hanging out and plugging in quite a bit from now on! 

I took a few photos when I was at a meeting there today.  Even on this gray, gloomy, rainy day, it was glorious:


IMG_2950 IMG_2944 IMG_2946 IMG_2948

And of course, my very own preferred parking place (at least until August):


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Anonymous said...

Can I get a job please? I like free stuff. Especially when it's COOL free stuff.

Goofball said...

Nice! I assume it's hard to get a job there?

Anonymous said...

Most of the big pharmaceutical companies have all those same bennies.

Margaret said...

I would LOVE even a few of those benefits. Teacher ones are getting worse and worse as we pay more out of pocket each year for everything. (with not a huge salary to start with)

Anonymous said...

Long-time reader here. I love your blog!

Sorry to contradict, but Microsoft's benefits, while very good, are different from what you've posted. Some corrections:

- MSFT software at the company store hasn't been $10 since the '90s! Games held out at that price for awhile, but now those are half-off (and sometimes more expensive than Amazon or other retailers). Windows, Office, etc. are heavily discounted but cost $40+.

- Dental and vision are not 100%. Dental is the same as most employers, generally 100% preventative, 80% minor work (cavities), and 50% for major work, up to an annual limit ($1500, I think). Vision is also the same as most other WA employers, variable coverage up to a (small) limit.

- FTEs have no deductible, but do co-pay for annual physicals and there are limits to some kinds of coverage. Part-timers have a $300 deductible per family member.

- Recurring prescriptions go through a by-mail service and I believe must be generic when available.

- parental leave is not 8 weeks for each parent. There's an 8-week paid maternity leave for moms only, and then a 4-week paid parental leave for each parent, that must be completed within 6 months of birth. Parents may also take another 8 weeks of unpaid FMLA leave. (Everyone in WA state gets 12 weeks of guaranteed parental leave. Microsoft pays the first 4 of that.)

- You pay for the healthclub membership -- around $50/month in taxes.

- The childcare "discounts" are a joke -- go hang out on the internal moms' alias. Microsoft is way behind other area employers in this benefit.

- Vacation time at Microsoft is nothing special. 3 weeks/yr for your first 6 years.

While Microsoft's medical benefits are truly among the best you can find, and its parental leave and charitable contribution matching are also above average, all of its other benefits are no better than other local large corporate employers.

And you're definitely taking a hit to compensation (wages, bonuses, stock). I've worked at two other large technology companies in the area in addition to Microsoft, and Microsoft's comp was by far the lowest (and flattest). I'm much happier paying a little for medical benefits and earning 2.5x as much :-)

Carol said...

Thanks Anonymous (why "Anonymous"?!). I appreciate the clarifications. I took a few things from memory (obviously my $10 memory is way off!), but got the rest on Sounds like the page needs updating -- or at least clarifications! In any case, glad you stop by!


Tonya said...

Well, I think the free tampon thing is pretty amazing. (Nope, never seen THAT before, ever!) I WOULD have said that with a bit of smugness ("don't need THOSE anymore!") but then biology wacked out on me this week...

jennifer said...

Funny but I've gotten free tampons *everywhere* that I have ever worked. I think companies would rather stock up the ladies'room with them so women will just go in, get one when they need, then get back to work. Otherwise, women are trying to be all secret when they have to sneak a tampon out of a desk drawer and smuggle it into the bathroom with them... takes too much time and time away from work that way.

I haven't had the rest of those bennies though... nice!

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