The San Francisco Uber office was reportedly spending $200,000 a year on balloons

Updated 11:44 am PDT, Monday, August 19, 2019

As adults, it can be difficult to ascertain the passage of time — and for Uber employees, it’s about to get a bit harder. As the company attempts to slim down its operations, employees’ work anniversaries will no longer be marked by the arrival of a bunch of helium balloons at their desks.

According to Crunchbase News, Uber chief financial officer Nelson Chai, emailed employees earlier this month to announce that balloons were being cut from the budget. Instead, the company is switching to stickers to mark “Uberversaries” — which will save the company more than $200,000 a year at its San Francisco offices alone.

“It’s not only a great way to find dollars we can invest back into the business, it’s also more environmentally friendly,” Chai’s email said.

Besides this one oddly specific cutback, there is no indication that corporate Uber employees will stop receiving other perks, such as free food in the office, unlimited paid vacation, and discounts on Uber rides and Uber Eats orders.

Uber did, however, lay off 400 employees in its marketing department in July, and also recently froze hiring for software engineers and product managers. These cutbacks come in the wake of Uber’s recently released Q2 2019 financial report in which the company reported a total operating loss of $5.2 billion after going public.

The deflating of the balloon budget was purportedly part of a scheme called #FindTheMoney, in which Uber employees are encouraged to suggest their ideas on how to save the company money.

No reports have been made on the effect of a balloon-free workplace on employee morale.

Madeline Wells is an SFGate editorial assistant. Email: madeline.wells@sfgate.com | Twitter: @madwells22

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Uber-spending-balloons-budget-cuts-rideshare-14355192.php.

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