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Work-life balance at Netflix

Employee work life balance at Netflix

Every major tech organization strives to provide its employees with a great work environment and culture. Tech jobs are basically complex and to maintain a balance between work and personal life becomes difficult for the employees at some point. This is why tech companies also face a heavy churn rate despite the large compensation packages and benefits. This is true about all the leading tech brands including Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple. All of these pay heavy compensations to their employees as well as matchless benefits in an effort to retain them for longer. However, just compensation and benefits are not sufficient to keep your employees satisfied which is because there are other aspects of work and work environment too that affect employee satisfaction. Netflix is a leading online streaming services provider with a large subscriber base of more than 167 million. It employs around 8600 people (as of 2019). 

The company has focused on creating a performance-oriented culture that values performance, collaboration and innovation. However, employee motivation is also an important question before Netflix since it would not want issues like low employee morale and work dissatisfaction to get in the way of its workers’ productivity. It would not want its star performers to leave since that breaks its Dream Team. While work and performance are important for Netflix employees, their personal well being is equally important. So the company strives to provide them better work and personal life balance. Hard work can drain employees of energy and if they are unable to strike a balance between work and personal life, they will feel stressed and start losing the motivation to work.

How does Netflix support its employees in terms of personal well being?

When it comes to their personal lives, Netflix does not dictate what its workers do at their homes and allows them to enjoy their personal lives to their fullest. The company believes in providing its employees the resources that help them strike a better work-life balance. 

Parental Leave:

The birth or adoption of a child is one of the most important events in the life of a person. Netflix has a generous parental leave policy for its employees that allows them to spend sufficient time with their newborns. The parental leave policy at Netflix is “take care of your baby and yourself.” On average, the new parents at Netflix take 4-8 months. 

Time Away:

Netflix encourages its employees to take personal time off from their jobs to enjoy their lives. At Netflix, people intermix and work a lot. This is good for employees’ mental health and allows them to lose stress regularly. At Netflix, they do not believe in having rigid rules since it is against their core philosophy. The same applies to leaves also. The company does not have a nine to five work policy and neither any rigid rules related to time offs for the salaried employees. There is no set holiday or vacation schedule either at Netflix. People are allowed to do what is important for them. The company believes in working smarter and not harder. So, people can take a break whenever their mind and body feel like it is time to take a break.

Family Forming:

Support families at Netflix are offered family forming benefits during fertility, surrogacy, or adoption journey. This benefit is available to employees and their spouse/domestic partner, regardless of marital status, gender, or sexual orientation. These times are both emotionally and physically challenging for the employees and Netflix recognizes this challenge. Netflix also offers an allowance to its employees through Carrot to support them over the course of their family forming journey.

Netflix Financial Benefits for Employees:

Stock option program:

Netflix has allowed its employees the freedom to select how much of their compensation they want in the form of salaries and how much in the form of stock options. Employees can choose all cash, all stock options or whatever combination suits them. The employees get to choose how much risk they want. Moreover, these ten years stock options are fully vested and employees can keep them even if they leave Netflix. 

Personal top of market:

To retain employees for longer, the company pays them at the top of their personal market. Netflix takes a market-based approach to compensation. The talent market is not defined by set bands and grades. The changes in the market are also reflected in the compensation of Netflix workers. If the market for specific talent changes, the people do not have to wait until the annual performance appraisal event to get a raise. In this way, Netflix also hopes to eliminate the pay disparities related to gender and race. Compensation at Netflix is purely based on talent and skill as well as market situations.

Employee giving program:

At Netflix, the employees are empowered to give back to society. Apart from making an impact through their work, the Netflix employees are empowered to give back to society through charitable donations to organizations that work for the purpose they care about the most. The company matches the contributions made by the employees by up to $10,000. In this way, the employees are able to support the nonprofit organizations working for the causes that they believe in.   

Working with Convenience:

Expenses and work related travel:

With regard to travel, entertainment, gifts or other related expenses, the company does not have a set policy. In this regard, the company has just one policy which is that the people should do what is in the best interest of the company. The company asks its employees to use its guiding principle of context, not control to make the most suitable judgment in any situation.

Work and do not drive:

Commuting to work can be difficult for people and apart from being time-consuming, long-distance commutes can also be stressful, particularly during rush hours.  Netflix has partnered with a ridesharing service to ensure that its employees do not have to drive to work and have the flexibility to focus on work while they commute.

Relocation benefits:

Netflix has a dedicated team to support the employees when they are relocating from one country, city or neighborhood to another. Relocation can be a very stressful task and the transition needs to be smooth which Netflix has ensured through the use of a dedicated team. Apart from providing all the major relocation-related services, the company also offers financial support to help with relocation.

Written by Abhijeet Pratap

Abhijeet has been blogging on educational topics and business research since 2016. He graduated with a Hons. in English literature from BRABU and an MBA from the Asia-Pacific Institute of Management, New Delhi. He likes to blog and share his knowledge and research in business management, marketing, literature and other areas with his readers.

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