Netlix' employee benefits offer unprecedented flexibility - here's every single detail
Netflix’s core philosophy is a simple one: “people over process.” Their focus on this principle lives up to (or, debatably, surpasses) other top companies like Google, Apple, or LinkedIn.
CEO Reed Hastings built his company's culture around freedom and responsibility, ensuring room for innovation (learn about the notorious Netflix culture here). Through those principles, this streaming service trusts its employees to do what is best on an individual level. Its philosophy extends beyond the workplace -- it is also exemplified in the employee benefits and perks that Netflix is known for.
If you want Netflix to be part of your career path, read on to see what current and former employees have to say about the perks.
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Netflix’s health care options fit their "flexible and free" mentality. Their offerings are meant to let employees style their coverage in a way that suits their family and lifestyle. Netflix's model involves these two factors:
There is one medical plan offered through Kaiser and three plans through Collective Health + Anthem. Each plan features varying levels of coverage for other types of care, in and out-of-network.
However, all of the plans are solid choices: they offer 100% coverage of certain preventive care at in-network providers.
Netflix offers employees a yearly allowance of up to $15,000 to cover their health care, including medical, vision, and dental plan premiums.
The $15,000 allotment from Netflix remains the same, no matter an employee's circumstances, such as the number of dependents or medical needs. This could potentially have its downsides if an employee has a larger family. A couple of employees on Glassdoor said that the plan works well when covering one person, but can be a little expensive if one is trying to cover a family.
There are also comprehensive vision and dental plans available for employees. Based on employee reviews, most folks are satisfied with the range of coverage that Netflix offers. It takes care of most basic medical expenses, and these other benefits come in handy too...
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Netflix’s retirement and future financial benefits also put more options in front of their employees. Here's what you should know.
The plan is relatively standard and is administered through Fidelity Investment. Netflix matches employee contributions to a retirement savings plan up to 4%. This is pretty similar to competitors: Microsoft also matches up to 4% and Facebook is on the higher side, matching up to 7%.
When discussing the plan, one employee said:
“The match may not seem super-aggressive, but salaries are so high that many people reach the employer-match cap.”
Netflix also has a rather generous and unique ESPP (employee stock purchase plan).
This option is significant because it gives some employees stock on top of their salary, while allowing employees to make decisions about the way they allocate the rest of their paycheck.
There are two ways to participate in the Stock Option Program (SOP) -- the free option or the supplemental allocation.
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If you read Netflix’s Culture Memo, you'll understand why an unlimited time off policy applies. Here's an excerpt:
“We believe that people thrive on being trusted, on freedom, and on being able to make a difference. So we foster freedom and empowerment wherever we can.”
This belief is also responsible for its nontraditional paid time off, or PTO. Their stated policy is simply “take vacations.” This becomes an “unlimited” PTO. Days off are not recorded and are only discussed between an employee and their manager.
Of course, a policy like this may seem too good to be true. An article from Workforce.com explained that these policies can actually lead to less time off, or can create trouble when it is necessary to track days off. But, employees report that most take off 5-6 weeks per year.
One employee on Quora assured that the Netflix vacation policy remains beneficial because people are encouraged to use the time off.
“Let me be very clear - we're pressured to take time to relax and recharge. You are not made to feel guilty by using the unlimited PTO offered by the company. If anything, you'll get feedback if you don't take the time to keep yourself mentally healthy.”
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Falling in line with the company's other time-off policies, Netflix’s parental leave policy is “take care of your baby and yourself.”
Salaried employees have “unlimited” parental leave. New parents are encouraged to take four to eight months off, though they can take up to a year off. Hourly employees get 24 weeks of PTO.
With the “unlimited” policy, new mothers and fathers are free to take as much time as they need and ease back in when they're ready. When the time is right, employees can return part-time or full-time. If they return to work, they can leave again later if needed. Once again, the key is flexibility and support.
In a blog post, Ludivoc Galibert, a Netflix employee, discussed his experience with the parental leave policy. He took a four-week paternity leave after the birth of his child and then took another eight-week leave a few months later. He claims Netflix's unique policy gave him the flexibility to do what he thought best.
In reflecting on his experience, he said,
“I truly wish more companies would offer their employees generous parental leave and employees would take advantage of it, especially dads. Yes, we too can and should take parental leave to take care of our family and support our spouse, even if it’s not for a first child.”
Netflix implemented this policy in 2015, and it continues to stand out because of its length. According to a 2018 Vox article, most major tech companies were offering anywhere from 10 weeks of leave (HP’s parental leave) to 22 weeks (Microsoft and Airbnb parental leave).
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Of course, Netflix offers some smaller perks that are meant to make working there more convenient.
There is a shuttle and rideshare program that is meant to reduce stress about commuting. Netflix will subsidize unlimited use of Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare services when commuting from home to work.
There is also an abundance of food available to employees. Free breakfast and free lunch are served Monday through Friday and snacks are always available. Though, one employee said it is not exactly comparable to the meals served at other major tech companies:
“Main meals are not FB/Google level but they are good (There is no dinner, that's by design as they don't expect you to work that late),” but the employee also said the micro-kitchens are better stocked.
Unlike other companies, Netflix does not have too many extra perks like gym memberships, but one employee said this was done with a purpose:
“Netflix believes in paying you a high salary so that you can decide for yourself what "perks" are important. As such it doesn't offer gym memberships, in-office massages, free laundry or other such frills. This might make the benefits at Netflix seem bare-bones, but in reality, everything that is important, is offered, and if you want anything extra, they pay you more than enough to buy your own gym membership.”
👉 Learn more about Netflix's culture: Netflix' culture is more supportive than you think
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