How many times have you laid hands on a terrific book in the bookstore, which has got you hooked right from the little preview on the back page, only to find out that it will possibly cost you half of your allowance? Microsoft understands your situation and likes to cater to the reading needs of it’s employees. Hence, it has an internal library called the MSLibrary, which has every Technology, Management, and Business book you can possibly think of. They’d even order one for you, if the particular book is not available. There are also a wide array of magazines, journals and Safari books that come in every month as per subscription. Not in the mood for book? Fret not. Take a few CDs out, and listen to your favorite audio book while heading back home. Oh, and they also give you online access to the much coveted Wall Street Journal.
2. This is what the Microsoft Xbox One HQ looks like:
What you’re seeing are multiple screens showing how people use Kinect for gaming, that comes with Xbox One. Kinect was introduced first in 2012, and allowed the user to use speech and gesture commands to exercise control while gaming on an Xbox, instead of the traditional game consoles. Kinect uses a motion sensing input device(a time-of-flight camera, in this case) to process 2GB worth of data per second. You can view any user’s Kinect activities at the Xbox One HQ. You’re the next NSA.
3. Employee Discount:
Every Microsoft Office comes with the Microsoft Employee Store, which allows anyone working at Microsoft to make purchase of products at high discount rates upto $1,200 per employee.
4. The Microsoft Sabbatical Policy:
If you are the dedicated, hard working employee at Microsoft, who has put in work equivalent to 10 years, you are allowed to have a entirely paid 8 week sabbatical from work. That’s like sitting at your home in pajamas and getting money for it!
In addition to this, it also provides a 2 week off to new fathers to spend time with their child, adoption and surrogacy assistance, Infertility and family planning, maternity and childcare subsidy, same-sex and opposite-sex benefits, making it a family friendly company.
Instead of assigning separate work stations or cubicles to different employees, and having fancy office rooms for senior members, Microsoft focuses more on increasing social interaction and encouraging open collaboration, for which they came up with the concept of – Hotdesking. This means the office design has been such that there are more casual seating work spaces, informal open meeting areas with semi-enclosed conference rooms, concentration carousels, and work booths. Their Amsterdam office has a cafe and indoor outdoor dining area at the first floor to help people group , discuss and brainstorm.
6. The $15,000 Volunteer Matching Program:
Microsoft believes in the philosophy of ‘giving together’, hence if you are a Microsoft employee who donates to educational institutions of your choice or charitable organizations, Microsoft will contribute the same amount to upto $15,000 per year to charity. Not only this, in case you take timeout from your schedule and offer manual help to these organizations, Microsoft makes a donation of $17 for every hour you work.
7. Lose weight, quit smoking, while playing beach volleyball:
Microsoft not only wants its employees to be mentally innovative, but also takes care that they remain physically fit and active, so it isn’t an unusual sight to see impromptu tournaments happening at the Basketball court or employee-aided fitness boot camps being organized at the volleyball court. Microsoft also provides Recreational league fee reimbursement, Fitness subsidy, Weight Management and Tobacco Cessation programs, as well.
Microsoft employees enjoy the annual subscription to Caltrain GO Pass, that gives them unlimited train rides throughout the year. In an attempt to go green, the Sustainability Team at Microsoft launched last year, accompanied by 18 charging points across 11 locations. After the great response from the employees that signed themselves up for the Electric Vehicle, Microsoft came up with more of them, and increased the charging points to 11. Apart, from this, Microsoft also provides private shuttle service to ACE and onsite oil change facility.
Of course, one of the biggest and the fastest growing technology company, comes with drool-worthy food. Unlike Google, where the food is free, Microsoft charges minimal price for everything your taste buds need. Cafe 16, the on-premises all-you-need food place at Microsoft serves pizza at $5 and steak with quinoa at just $6.50. It has a separate soup and salad bar, coffee shop, burger place, organic options, chef’s table, flavored water and free soda and – wait, why don’t you take a look yourself, huh?
Microsoft has a Cybercrime Center in Seattle, Washington, where the Digital Detectives(yes, they call themselves that!) make good use of technology to fight against the bad use of technology. They also have a Malware Lab and an Evidence Room in the same office, and together the whole set-up looks like it’s right out of of a TV show.
…and a SLIDE.
…and pool lovers’ paradise.