Cost Cutting Gone Wrong

One company I used to work for used to have a pop machine that sold 25-cent sodas. That’s right: A quarter. Particularly for the Diet Coke addicts, that was a huge perk — and a sensible solution; you buy in bulk, you can keep prices closer to cost. One fellow I worked with took ample advantage of the deep discount, even buying multiple cans of soda to take home for the weekend.

Then the company decided to cut that out (not because of his bulk buying) and increased the price to 75 cents. I stopped buying soda at work. Having experienced the loss of a simple but effective perk, I was somewhat amused to read about the Minneapolis Star Tribune‘s recent decision to no longer provide free copies of the paper to… its staff of reporters and editors.

Wait a minute. You work for a newspaper and can’t quickly and easily — cheaply or freely — get a copy of your daily product? That’d be like Fast Company deciding that staffers have to buy the magazine we make every month. (Don’t get any ideas, folks!)

What are some ways you’ve experienced cost cutting that didn’t impact your productivity? Or take away a small, but simple perk?