High-tech companies are known for employee-friendly work environments that encourage play along with work. Facebook’s newest employee perk is especially interesting to us woodworkers.
I’m sure you’ve seen stories about what “going to the office” is like for employees of Apple, Google and other companies offering technology-related products and services. Employee goodies ranging from free donuts and daycare centers, to full gymnasiums and golf courses are common. Facebook has just started a new employee benefit that’s literally on the cutting edge of such things: a full woodworking facility.
Opened in May, the Facebook woodshop offers more than 3,000 sq. ft. of woodworking bliss, fully equipped with every tool you could imagine. The tools are high-end offerings, too, from Jet, Powermatic, Festool, DeWalt and other top-notch manufacturers. Add in superb lighting, plenty of bench space and outstanding dust collection throughout, and what more could an employee want? How about an in-shop store with lumber and supplies, expert advice from pro woodworkers hired just for that purpose, and plenty of classes. They seem to have thought of everything.
While every Facebook employee has access to and is encouraged to take advantage of the shop, no one touches a thing in it until going through a mandatory 3-hour safety class. That hurdle completed, the shop welcomes both novice and experienced woodworkers.
The idea behind the woodshop, as with many perks offered at high-tech firms specializing in creativity, is to give employees another means of being creative in the hopes that it carries over into creativity on the job itself. This has generally proven to be not only a workable idea for the companies offering such things, but a productive one. To date, however, no one has offered a fully equipped woodshop, along with both the supplies and guidance to go along with it. I wish them the best of luck with it.
Makes me think about going back to work at a Real Job.