Get Ready to Say Goodbye to the Tech Industry’s Cushy Perks

Hello there, tech fans. I’m your host, Jordan Parker Erb.

Breaking: On Sunday night, Elon Musk asked Twitter users in a poll if he should “step down as head of Twitter” — adding that he will abide by the results. The poll closed just moments ago, with 57.5% of respondents voting in favor of Musk stepping down. This is a developing story and we will be keeping you updated with the latest

But we’ve got more to talk about today, including the disappearance of lavish tech industry perks, and which generation of workers are most likely to feel “tech shame.”

Let’s get started. 

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Scenes of daily work and life at Facebook , Inc. USA Headquarters in Menlo Park, California. Facebook employees relax with a game of ping-pong on campus. (Photo by Kim Kulish/Corbis via Getty Images)

Kim Kulish/Corbis/Getty Images

1. Get ready to say goodbye to the tech industry’s cushy perks. Over the past year, more and more companies have pulled perks as they try to ride out a tough market and potential recession. But even though workers’ compensation will remain high, for many, it still feels like the end of an era.

  • Meta trimmed $1,000 off its health and wellness benefits per employee after canceling on-site laundry, a $200-a-month Lyft subsidy program, and shrinking its free-food budget.
  • The same goes for Google, which started limiting employee travel to “business critical” trips this year. Salesforce joined the trend by axing its “wellbeing” days for fiscal year 2024.
  • When Elon Musk purchased Twitter, one of the first things he did was take away perks related to wellness, family planning, productivity, training, and home offices. 
  • The disappearance of perks is a shift from the decade before, when perks helped companies differentiate themselves from competitors. Now, tech management has the upper hand for the first time in many workers’ careers, and with layoffs wracking the industry, the workers who remain are simply hoping to hold on.

We explain why the perks of tech work are rapidly disappearing.

In other news:

An image of new Twitter owner Elon Musk is seen surrounded by Twitter logos in this photo illustration.

Getty Images

2. Elon Musk said there was no successor if he were to step down as Twitter CEO. In response to a Twitter user who assumed Musk had already chosen a new leader, Musk wrote in a tweet that “no one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive.” Musk made the comments before the closure of his Twitter poll, which asked users if he should stay. Read the full story.

3. In a scathing exit memo, a VR expert at Meta derided the company’s bureaucracy. As he left the company, John Carmack, the consulting CTO for Meta’s virtual-reality efforts, wrote of Meta: “we constantly self-sabotage and squander effort.” You can read the full memo here.

4. The US government slammed Amazon for failing to record warehouse-worker injuries. Federal regulators, investigating Amazon warehouses in five states, have slapped the company with 14 citations for failing to record workers’ injuries. What we know so far.

5. In a leaked Slack message, Salesforce’s Marc Benioff suggested that new employees are less productive. The message caused an uproar among some employees by suggesting that remote work might be to blame for what he called new workers’ “much lower productivity.” Everything we learned from the leaked message.

6. Gen Z is more likely to feel “tech shame” than their older colleagues. According to a recent survey, young adults are having a surprisingly tough time adjusting to job-related tech issues — even more so than their older colleagues. HR experts break down why.

7. Meta is shuttering a livestreaming platform it quietly tested with influencers. The product, called Super, let users host interactive livestreams, engage with fans, and earn revenue. Here’s why the project is shutting down.

8. Shaq says he “was just a paid spokesperson” for FTX and doesn’t believe in crypto. The NBA legend said he isn’t bullish on crypto — despite airing in a commercial for the exchange in June, in which he declares: “I’m all in. Are you?” 

Odds and ends:

Tesla logo seen on a Tesla car covered with snow in Edmonton.

Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

9. A Tesla owner shared TikTok videos about the impacts of cold weather on his car. In the videos, the owner describes the “facts of a Tesla” — including that its doors, frunk, and charging port can be frozen shut. See some of the other struggles he described.

10. A new BeReal feature creates a montage of every photo you posted this year. With 2022 quickly coming to an end, BeReal has created a new feature that makes a video using every photo you posted on the app. Here’s how to find your BeReal Recap. 

What we’re watching today:

  • Today is the 50th anniversary of Apollo 17 splashing down in the Pacific.

Curated by Jordan Parker Erb in New York. (Feedback or tips? Email [email protected] or tweet @jordanparkererb.) Edited by Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.