Thursday, October 11, 2012

From Digital Sweatshop To Perk Palace: Why Gawker's Nick Denton Started Spoiling His Staff - Forbes:

While the visual of 22-year-old bloggers lashed to their laptops 14 hours a day is a hard one to shake, life at Gawker these days is very different from a few years ago. Then, writers toiled for a flat rate of $12 per post. Benefits were nonexistent and fancy perks were something to make fun of bigger, richer media companies for offering.

Now — where to start? Salary is competitive with other major publishing companies, and editorial teams that hit their traffic targets can earn bonuses worth up to 20% of monthly payroll. Everyone on staff is eligible for health insurance for themselves and their families. Since 2010, there’s been a 401k with 3% matching. The company pays 50% of membership fees to Equinox gyms. Once a week there’s breakfast and lunch ordered in; on the day I contacted Denton, it was gourmet wieners from Asia Dog. Everyone’s allowed to work from home one day a week. Yoga classes have been held on the roof deck of the company’s Soho offices.

Most recently, Denton flew 25 of his managers to Budapest for an off-site meeting. He also introduced a sabbatical policy: Employees who’ve been around for at least four years are eligible for a month or more of paid leave.