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The perk-cession is here. You lose free food and laundry, but you could have a more satisfying life?

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T hree-course dinners, access to wellness centres, even free dry-cleaning – for years the goodies that came with a job in the elite tech sector were more than mere accessories – they symbolised your membership of an exclusive club.Now, as some companies begin what the Wall Street Journal has called the perk-cession, is it time for a conversation about what office workers really want from their jobs in a post-Covid world?First, the background: amid rising interest rates and recessionary pressures, even towering tech companies are starting to face harsh new realities. “Our management theme for 2023 is the year of efficiency, and we’re focused on becoming a stronger and more nimble organisation,” said Mark Zuckerberg, keen to signal to Meta’s investors last month that the party, as it were, was over.His company’s share price fell by more than 60% last year.

In November, Meta announced that 11,000 jobs would go – about 13% of its workforce. Now the boss wanted to be clear. Costs would be cut.

Realism was in the air. And Wall Street responded positively, pushing the share price almost a fifth higher when this “year of efficiency” was declared. (Zuckerberg meant what he said: on Tuesday, he announced a further 10,000 jobs would go.)In truth, the belt-tightening at Meta began a year ago, when some of the famous on-site perks at its Manhattan “campus” were cut.

It was goodbye to the free laundry and dry-cleaning. And the gratis evening meal started being served later in the day, more than half an hour after the last free bus ride back into midtown had left.

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