Perk up: Employees from 5 LA tech companies share their favorite benefits

by Hannah Levy
February 21, 2019

A perk — in whatever form it takes — is a living, breathing example of what a company values. It’s what the company is willing to go the extra mile on, shouldering the expense or setting up the program. Want to know what LA values? We interviewed employees at five local tech companies to find out just that. Here’s what they told us about their favorite perks — and what they say about the company behind them.

(Spoiler: Someone in this list gets free nanny visits. Yep, free.)  

 

Group photo Headspace team
photo via headspace

Industry: Wellness

HQ: Santa Monica

Founded: 2010

Considered one of the top meditation tools on the market today, the Headspace app takes users through hundreds of guided meditations designed to help with everything from stress management to sleeping problems. Employees at the company receive a $500 stipend every year to attend conferences as well as access to other L&D programs. Here’s what Lyndsey Lustig, a senior technical recruiter at Headspace, told us is her absolute, favorite perk.

I love our speaker series program. The perk gives our employees a break from the workday to gain an enlightened perspective.

 

What’s your favorite Headspace perk?

I love our speaker series program. The perk gives our employees a break from the workday to gain an enlightened perspective by hearing the stories and journeys of our speakers.

Why is this perk important to you and what effect does it have on your work?

The speakers in Headspace’s series have discussed how meditation has impacted the way they have been able to embrace work and their careers. Hearing their stories has inspired me to be the best employee I can be while embracing the practice of meditation.

 

The BCG DV teams
photo via bcg digital ventures

Industry: Digital media

HQ: Manhattan Beach

Founded: 2014

BCG Digital Ventures is the incubation arm of the Boston Consulting Group. From their ridiculously stylish Manhattan Beach office, the company has launched some of the city's hottest up-and-coming startups alongside Fortune 500 companies. Benefits at the company include paid volunteer time and childcare benefits. Here’s what Kyu Lee, a senior product manager at BCGDV, told us about the perks of working for the company.

We have barely any co-pays for our son’s healthcare, and the company provides a vetted network of daycares when he gets old enough to need it.

 

What’s your favorite BCG Digital Ventures perk?

Having just had a baby, the number of perks BCG Digital Ventures offers to working parents is astounding. We have barely any co-pays for our son’s healthcare, and the company provides a vetted network of daycares when he gets old enough to need it. On top of that, we have access to home services from doctors in case of emergency and a number of free nanny visits.

Why is this perk important to you and what effect does it have on your work?

I never thought I’d be raising a baby without seriously considering every cost. BCGDV has been able to take the complexity out of the process and has truly made it one step easier to be a working parent.

 

The Gimbal team
photo via gimbal

Industry: Adtech

HQ: Arts District

Founded: 2011

A leading member of LA’s adtech scene, Gimbal uses location data to build hardware and software solutions that help marketers deliver a better experience to customers of beloved brands like Fruit of the Loom, Coca-Cola, Fiji and Chrysler. The company was founded in 2011 and is based in the heart of the deeply trendy Downtown LA Arts District. While Gimbal has no shortage of perks — unlimited PTO and beer on tap, to name a few — we wanted an inside scoop. Here’s what Gimbal’s Director of Marketing Liz Weinsten told us was the one Gimbal benefit she can’t live without.

It's nice to know you work for a company that cares about your physical wellness and puts money toward it.

 

What's your favorite Gimbal perk?

Personally it would be the subsidized gym membership. I workout often, and — let's be honest — memberships in LA are not cheap!

Why is this perk important to you and what effect does it have on your work?

Sometimes I'll work out on my lunch break. Not only is it a great mental refresh, but I feel more energized after. It's nice to know you work for a company that cares about your physical wellness and puts money toward it.

 

System1 team on the beach
photo via system1

Industry: Adtech

HQ: Venice

Founded: 2013

System1’s marketplace uses algorithms to analyze billions of consumer attributes, then uses that information to help customers drive their pay-per-click advertising across channels. The company’s goal is to make search advertising better for both consumers and advertisers. As a company, System1 prides itself on providing employees with unparalleled work-life balance, as well as financial incentives, professional development opportunities and more. Here’s what Carrie Yu, a data analyst at System1, told us about working for the company and all the perks that come with it.

Before coming to System1, I didn’t realize how important weekly happy hours would be.

 

What’s your favorite System1 perk?

My favorite perk at System1 is the weekly happy hour! Not only is it fun, but I believe it also has a positive impact on my work.

Why is that perk important to you and what effect does it have on your work?

Before coming to System1, I didn’t realize how important weekly happy hours would be. However, over time, I realized that happy hours create an opportunity for people to talk to peers in other teams both on a work-related level, as well as a personal one. It opens up an avenue for going to those peers later with questions, for additional knowledge, or just being able to foster a friendship that wouldn't have been otherwise possible.

 

 

The Universal Music office
photo via universal music group

Industry: Consumer web + music

HQ: Woodland Hills

Founded: 1898

Universal Music Group (UMG) is one of the world’s oldest and most significant music companies. The IT department at the company is incredibly innovative within the industry and focuses on emphasizing growth through operational efficiency. The team prides itself on being collaborative and passionate — which doesn’t seem that hard to do when your office has both a game room and a 401(k) matching program. Here’s what Ani Hovsepian, UMG’s senior manager of IT for the company’s vendor management office, told us about the perks of working for the company.

I feel very fortunate to work for a cutting-edge and innovative company like UMG. The company offers lots of perks to employees.

 

What’s your favorite UMG perk?

I feel very fortunate to work for a cutting-edge and innovative company like UMG. The company offers lots of perks to employees. My personal favorite is UMG’s gift week.

Why is that perk important to you? And what effect does it have on your work?

Gift week is truly a gift — in every sense of the word. It’s the week between Christmas and New Year, which UMG allows employees to take off. This allows employees to take time off and spend the holiday season with their families. It gives me the opportunity to rest so I can drive to go above and beyond on executing my responsibilities once I’m back at work. That way, I feel like I can really hit the ground running in the new year, rejuvenated with positive energy, appreciation and a different point of view.

 

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