February 17, 2017 (Palo Alto, CA) - In the ultra-competitive world of tech jobs, thinking outside the box is no longer just for landing employment, it’s also required for retaining employees. The aggressive ground that is Silicon Valley has seen massive growth in employee benefits to enhance associate morale and increase desire to work for a specific company. From three free meals a day to Lyft rides home, companies are sparing no expense to deliver the ultimate work experience. Often these perks are geared toward the single, midcareer associate, but what about those wanting to start a family? That’s where booming pet app Waggle comes in.
Waggle is an app that allows pet owners to watch, interact, and feed their pets while they’re on the go living their busy life and allows the owner to not feel so coldhearted for making a snap decision to get a dog after Melanie broke up with them to make themselves feel better and not so alone. Over the past few years, Waggle has had more than 100 million downloads and has seen investor funding skyrocket. With the demand already high for technical engineers, Waggle felt that they had to offer more than just a fully stocked bar at work. That’s when founder and CEO, Bennet Greer, knew he had a model many other businesses did not.
“I had just become a father of my now beautiful, five-month-old daughter, Lucy, and I thought to myself, ‘There’s no way I can be a full-time dad and have a successful career.' That’s when I had an epiphany to create the Pamper Program,” Greer said. “The idea was simple, what if you could raise your child exactly how you wanted to, but never had to leave work? We had a bunch of the key functions and processes in place with Waggle’s operating system. The last hurdle was making it adaptable to a child.”
Waggle’s Pamper Program has taken aim at making the struggle of raising a child effortless for its employees. As early as four-weeks-old, a child can enter the program and remain in it until the age of 18. While in the program, the child is completely removed from physically living or depending on its parents to be raised and placed into a Pamper suite. Parents can then interact with their children through the Pamper app that functions much like Waggle. A parent can feed their child, put on a cartoon, or have an hour-long conversation on about how “tough” grandpa was on them and how they’re not going to be a dad like that, they’re going to be a fun dad, maybe even buy their child beer when they’re 18 because senior year of high school is difficult for everyone.
New Waggle employee, Jay Vernon, believes that the Pamper Program was one of the best job benefits he found during his recent career change. He and his son, Terrance (pictured above), have fun all day, and Vernon doesn’t have to spend a moment away from his desk.
“I was wined and dined during my recent interview phase by some great companies, but Waggle just kind of understood what I was looking for. I knew that if I invested in my son, Terry, I wouldn’t be able to really hone in at work, which probably would’ve led to problems at home, and who knows, maybe I would’ve started drinking again,” Vernon said. “Waggle’s Pamper Program allows me to give work 100 percent of my time and Terry very little, while still being able to shape his future in some way, I’m pretty sure. If I want to spend quality time with him, I pop open the Pamper app, select the quality time action, and within minutes a surrogate parent is teaching him how to throw a baseball. It’s like having a real-life Tamagotchi, and I’m thankful the powers at be gave me that Tamagotchi. Unlike my Tamagotchi in elementary school, I’m not going to overfeed and lose this one. I’m going to take care of Tamagot… I mean Terry.”
Since Waggle’s Pamper Program became public knowledge, applications to the company have increased tremendously. Greer’s business has some of the top tech talent lining up at its door for the work/kind-of-life balance that Waggle has begun to offer, leaving many tech giants wondering how they will compete with such a futuristic job benefit. One thing is for certain, though, soon Waggle will have some homegrown resources it can use to thoroughly beta test its app.
Anthony Salerno was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. He is a current DCH student and has performed with German Harmony and Titanium. When he’s not working at his day job, he’s rocking out to Led Zeppelin and rooting on his hapless Buffalo Bills.
(Image: Reuters/Bobby Yip/Business Insider)