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How Well Does Netflix treat their employees?

Netflix is one of the world’s leading entertainment companies, with over 223 million paid memberships in over 190 countries. The company is known for its popular on-demand streaming platform, which allows members to watch TV shows, movies, documentaries and more on any internet-connected device. Netflix has received praise for its innovative culture and progressive employee benefits. But how well does Netflix really treat its employees?

Employee Satisfaction

According to employee reviews on Glassdoor, Netflix employees appear to be quite satisfied with their jobs and company culture. Netflix has a 4.1 out of 5 rating on Glassdoor, with 81% of employees saying they would recommend the company to a friend. Here are some positive aspects highlighted by employees:

  • Flexible work hours and location. Employees praise Netflix’s “freedom and responsibility” culture that allows them to work when and where they want.
  • Good compensation. Netflix pays competitive salaries and bonuses, even for junior level roles.
  • Fast-paced, innovative environment. Employees describe an energizing culture that values creativity and innovation.
  • Smart, talented co-workers. Netflix is known to hire “fully formed adults” who are experts in their fields.

However, there are some downsides mentioned by employees as well:

  • High expectations and accountability. Netflix sets very high standards for performance which can be demanding.
  • Job insecurity. The high-performance culture sometimes leads to quick terminations if employees underperform.
  • Lack of structure. The freewheeling culture isn’t a fit for everyone.

Work Culture and Values

Netflix is famous for its distinctive company culture that rejects traditional corporate bureaucracy and hierarchy. Their approach emphasizes freedom and responsibility rather than top-down control. Here are some key aspects of the Netflix work culture:

  • No vacation policy – Employees can take unlimited vacation as long as their work is getting done.
  • No expense policy – Employees don’t need expense pre-approvals as long as spending is “act in Netflix’s best interest.”
  • No annual review process – Manager give employees real-time feedback instead of annual performance reviews.
  • No clothing policy – Netflix doesn’t have any dress codes or clothing restrictions.
  • Flexible remote work – Many employees work remotely or set their own office hours.

This culture of freedom and responsibility aligns with Netflix’s core values:

  • Judgement – Employees make wise decisions without constant approvals.
  • Communication – Managers clearly communicate context to help employees succeed.
  • Impact – Employees focus on creating the most impact for customers and the company.
  • Curiosity – Employees are curious, learn rapidly and seek truth.
  • Innovation – Employees take smart risks and are not afraid to fail.
  • Courage – Employees voice views openly even when controversial.
  • Selflessness – Decisions are made for the good of Netflix, not individuals.
  • Inclusion – Diverse perspectives are skillfully integrated in decisions.

This unique culture gives employees significant autonomy while also demanding high levels of responsibility and performance. It empowers employees to be innovative and creative in serving Netflix’s business interests.

Employee Benefits

Netflix offers competitive pay and a generous benefits package to all full-time employees. Here are some of the perks:

  • Unlimited vacation – Employees take vacation when they want, as long as work is covered.
  • Parental leave – Up to 12 paid weeks off for new mothers and fathers, including adoptive parents.
  • Fertility assistance – Netflix pays up to $20k lifetime max for egg freezing and IVF for employees.
  • 401k plan – Netflix offers a generous 401k match program to help with retirement savings.
  • Stock options – Employees get stock option grants so they benefit from company growth.
  • Gym subsidy – Netflix subsidizes employee gym memberships up to $720 annually.
  • Family care – Netflix provides 10 subsidized back-up child and elder care days annually.
  • Commuter assistance – Employees get subsidized transit/parking and Uber credits for commuting.

Additional perks include full medical, dental and vision insurance, life and disability insurance, employee assistance program, cell phone discounts, tuition assistance, and more.

Diversity & Inclusion

Netflix places a strong emphasis on diversity and inclusion within its workforce. Here are some of their efforts on this front:

  • Netflix tracks and publishes diversity stats annually for transparency.
  • Unconscious bias training is provided to help prevent hiring discrimination.
  • They support employee resource groups for women, black, Latino, veterans, LGBTQ employees.
  • Parental leave and family care benefits aim to support working parents.
  • Inclusion is one of their core company values that guides decision making.

According to Netflix’s 2021 inclusion report, women represent 47.1% of their global workforce. However, this drops to around 25% for more technical roles like software engineering. Netflix acknowledges they have more work to do to improve representation, especially in leadership and more technical functions.


Netflix compensates employees competitively within the tech industry. Software engineering salaries are impressive even for junior roles. Here are some average reported salaries according to Glassdoor data:

Role Average Base Salary
Software Engineer $130,000
Senior Software Engineer $233,000
Product Manager $153,000
Data Scientist $170,000
UX Designer $149,000

In addition to base salary, Netflix employees receive bonuses and stock options. The average total compensation ranges from $200k for junior employees to over $400k for senior managers. High performers can earn even higher compensation.

Working Conditions

Most Netflix employees enjoy a flexible, casual work environment without strict policies or rules. Here are some of the working condition perks:

  • Employees have flexible schedules and can work remotely.
  • The dress code is casual – most people wear jeans or casual clothing.
  • Unlimited vacation, discretionary personal time off.
  • Modern, comfortable office spaces equipped with amenities.
  • Free gourmet food, snacks and drinks at the office.
  • Subsidized cafeterias with premium dining options.
  • Lounges, game rooms, nap pods for relaxing breaks.

The relaxed policies around scheduling, vacation, remote work, clothing and office perks create a comfortable, flexible environment. However, some employees complain about the high-pressure culture and expectations for performance. The generous free time and perks come with responsibility to meet demands. Some teams or managers may have less flexible schedules to coordinate live service operations that run 24/7.

Career Growth Opportunities

Netflix is still a young, growing company so there are opportunities for employees to advance their careers quickly. However, the culture of high performance also leads many lower performers to have short tenures. Here are some of the pros and cons of career development at Netflix:


  • Rapid growth provides fast promotion opportunities for strong performers.
  • Employees gain broad experience across different product domains.
  • Young leaders get opportunities to manage large teams and budgets.
  • Flat structure allows employees access to senior leader mentors.


  • High turnover means tenure lengths tend to be short (2-3 years).
  • Poor performers get managed out quickly under the “keeper test”.
  • Frequent reorgs change scope and direction of roles.

In summary, top-performers have exciting but demanding career paths at Netflix with significant responsibilities early on. However, you have to prove yourself continually under the keeper test to stay. It’s not unusual for an engineer or product manager to get promoted every 12-18 months if meeting expectations.

Work-Life Balance

For some employees, Netflix’s flexible policies and unlimited PTO allow great work-life balance. Employees have freedom to work when and where they want. However, some teams have on-call rotations or live service demands that require work nights and weekends. In general employee satisfaction surveys show:

  • 80% of employees rate work-life balance as “good” or “extremely good”.
  • But 30% report “poor” work-life balance due to high pressure and always being “on call”.
  • Remote employees report better satisfaction than office-based staff.
  • Parents and dual career families can struggle with demands.
  • Work-life balance varies significantly by team and manager.

Ultimately at Netflix, delivering results trumps face time at the office. For disciplined employees who can meet aggressive goals, the flexible culture enables good work-life harmony. But employees need to be comfortable setting their own boundaries.

Overall Employee Morale

Despite high demands, employees generally rate morale at Netflix as high. Netflix scores 4 out 5 in Glassdoor employee reviews, with 81% approving CEO Reed Hastings. Positive factors include:

  • Pride in working for an iconic, game-changing brand.
  • Excitement of rapid growth and taking on competitors.
  • Motivation to delight entertainment fans globally.
  • Belief in Netflix’s strong vision and business model.
  • Appreciation for innovative, non-bureaucratic culture.

But not all employees thrive in the Netflix environment. Those requiring more structure and support tend to rate morale lower. Rapid reorganizations and high involuntary turnover also negatively impact morale for some. Overall Netflix does an admirable job compensating employees and providing workplace flexibility. Their culture attracts motivated, high-performing individuals who value autonomy. However, it’s not the right fit for every type of employee.

Employee Relations

Netflix empowers employees to bring their best ideas forward through transparent, direct communication. There is little corporate hierarchy or “politics” in the culture. However, this level of openness is not suited to all personality types. Key aspects include:

  • Radical honesty – Employees are expected to share opinions bluntly, even if it causes conflict.
  • Feedback over approval – Managers provide direct work improvements over compliments.
  • Sunshine committees – Peers meet to provide each other constructive feedback.
  • High standards – Employees are held accountable to top performance metrics.

This high-transparency, high-standards environment empowers motivated staff. But it can be difficult for conflict-averse employees or low performers. Netflix maintains an employee relations team to mediate conflicts or harassment issues. But there are occasional complaints around dominating personalities, favoritism and lack of sensitivity in the direct feedback culture.

Layoffs and Reorganizations

Working at a high-growth startup brings almost constant change. As business needs evolve, Netflixfrequently reorganizes teams or lays off lower performers. Some key workforce trends include:

  • Annual layoffs of around 2-4% of workforce to weed out underperformers.
  • Large rounds of layoffs when business needs change, including 600 job cuts in 2022.
  • Reorganizations every 12-18 months as units are combined or restructured.
  • Rapid growth in India and Asia Pacific operations centers.
  • High involuntary turnover, especially in first 1-2 years.

This restructuring can create uncertainty and stress. Employees in eliminated roles receive severance, but job security is low for poor performers. The dynamic nature of the business results in ongoing churn.

Is Netflix a Good Place to Work?

Overall, Netflix provides an excellent work environment for self-motivated professionals who thrive under high performance standards. Key advantages of working at Netflix include:

  • Innovative culture without corporate bureaucracy.
  • Workplace flexibility and autonomy.
  • Dynamic growth opportunities for top talent.
  • Generous pay and benefits packages.
  • Prestige of working for a leading media brand.

However, there are some downsides to consider as well:

  • Demands for performance can create high pressure.
  • Frequent reorgs and layoffs create uncertainty.
  • Direct culture isn’t for conflict-averse personalities.
  • Short tenures and high turnover rates.
  • Always “on-call” expectation for some roles.

Netflix is a great fit for motivated self-starters who thrive under minimal hierarchy and process. Employees have the freedom to innovate and make an impact. But you need to be a confident high performer to earn a long-term place on the team under the keeper test. Overall, Netflix does an excellent job creating policies that benefit and empower employees. Their culture attracts and retains top talent despite highly demanding performance expectations.


Netflix has built an award-winning culture that empowers employees with high levels of responsibility and autonomy. They compensate employees extremely well and provide unmatched flexibility. However, their high-performance model also creates insecurity for some employees and can struggle with inclusion and diversity.

At their best, Netflix creates an energizing workplace that attracts superstar talent. But the hyper-competitive culture and always-on work demands burn out some employees. Netflix is a great employer for self-driven employees who thrive under pressure and minimal rules. Individuals looking for more work-life balance or support may find the Netflix environment more challenging. Ultimately Netflix has built an innovative employee value proposition that allows them to be extremely selective while attracting motivated superstars. But it comes at the cost of high turnover and exclusion of underrepresented groups. Netflix has room for improvement in inclusion, work-life balance and performance management sensitivity – but remains an employer of choice for top talent.