Having your employer give you a rent subsidy instead of a pay raise may appear to be a pretty good deal on the surface, but it may not be the best thing for your overall health.
Some companies have been playing around with rent subsidies for employees who live close to the office, and although this benefit provides a little more security for workers in areas like Silicon Valley, where rents have increased dramatically over recent years it also has resulted in employees staying longer at work, blurring the line between work and personal time
Some of the Valley’s biggest tech companies are infamous for coming up with sneaky ways to keep staff at the office longer. For example Google and Facebook offer lavish food, day care, massage and fitness perks. Sounds good but these are things you would normally attend to out of office hours and away from the office.
Research shows that people don’t really benefit from being at the office longer. They burn out and become disengaged. Instead of meeting new people as they drop their kids off at a non-workplace daycare, they see the person from the next office. Instead of taking a break for lunch and a walk in the neighborhood, they eat lunch at the work cafeteria or at their desk.
One study found that work stress related from always being at the office can take as much as three years off a person’s life.