While providing free food and drinks is getting more "normal" for start-ups these days, it was definitely my favorite and most-used perk at Google. I would start my morning at one building that had a coffee bar with full-time barista who would make whatever drink requested, for free. I would then head over to the building I worked in for free breakfast and take it to my desk. Lunchtime would come around and I'd head to one of Googles 25+ cafes for food. At Google you're never further than 150 ft. (or so) away from food, so micro kitchens with coffee, drinks and snacks are close by. If you stay to work late, you can grab dinner at Google too. Because Google's campus is not close to many restaurants, having food saves their employees lots of time while still providing plenty of variety and options.
Working at Google you're exposed to amazing people and great thinkers:
One Googler said that the company is a great place to "see, listen to and meet with people who I grew up reading about."
We are surrounded by smart, driven people who provide the best environment for learning I've ever experienced. I don't mean through tech talks and formal training programs, I mean through working with awesome colleagues -- even the non-famous ones.
I've worked at several other .coms and have never been more challenged and energized professionally from my colleagues than at Google. People are generally happy to work there, they come from diverse backgrounds, and almost always have an interesting story to share.
Besides being exposed to tech leaders, there are often talks with celebrities and other thought leaders.
Googlers feel like they are really living in the future:
Because Google is one of the top technology companies in the world it no surprise that employees are at the forefront of technology.
Googlers get to use the company's products to get work done, "including those that have not yet been released to the public," an employee shared.
"Chrome was my primary browser before it was announced. I've used phones, tablets, and Chromebooks before they went on sale. It's fun. I get a sneak peek at the future, and if I give good feedback or get even more involved, I can shape it as well," he said.
The TechStop helps Googlers stay plugged in with 24/7 tech support:
Google has some of the best and brightest IT specialists available to help other employees get their jobs done.
The TechStop is Google in-house tech support shop, it provides Google employees guidance with all hardware and software needs and problems 24 hours a day seven days a week.
One employee likes The TechStop so much "because it's just such a practical approach to solving the simple problems that get in the way, for example if you forgot your laptop power supply - go get another.
My mild-mannered and quiet Shar-Pei accompanied me 2-3 times a week and became a constant presence in my team and work area. Though managing a dog between meetings can sometimes be challenging, having her with me meant that every few hours I needed to get outside and take a break which helped me manage my energy. In addition my dog brought a lot of spontaneous joy to my colleagues who sometimes sought her out when needing a break from an arduous task.
Google cares about your general well-being:
Employees can give each other "massage credits" for a job well done on projects. The massage credits can be redeemed for a free one hour massage on campus.
I got an injury while I was in the U.S. and needed to have three surgeries and follow-ups that in total made me not being able to work for five months. Starting with my manager and colleague, the entire company was really sympathetic with what happened to me and encouraged me to concentrate on getting healthier. When I came back an extended time I was definitely feeling stressed, but my manager set her expectations fairly, which enabled me to ramp up very quickly and continue where I left off.
Every Friday employees can unwind and socialize with free beer and wine.
Maternity leave for Mom and Dad plus a bonus:
It's typical for mothers to get up off of work for up to six weeks after having a child but at Google it's another story.
At Google, new dads receive six weeks of paid leave while moms can take 18 weeks after the birth of a child. Employees' stock continues to vest and they continue to receive bonuses while they are on leave.
The Goog even gives us a bonus, called "baby bonding bucks" shortly after our baby is born to help with expenses like diapers, takeout, and formula during our leave. I haven't heard of other companies offering parental benefits within a country mile of Google's.
After moms return to work there are free on-site daycares for children.
If a Googler passes away, "all their stock vests immediately, and on top of the (not atypical, I think?) life insurance payout, their surviving spouse continues to get half of the Googler's salary for the next 10 years. And there's an additional $1,000/month benefit for any of the Googler's children."
Free fitness classes, gyms, and organized intramural sports:
I love to think in the shower and frequently worked out ideas in there. The opportunity to get outside and run around if you had some energy to work off, knowing you could just shower and switch into some other clothes helped alleviate a lot of the fidgety energy I felt being pent up in a cubicle. It let me focus on work. I also felt comfortable pushing myself harder on my morning bike ride in, knowing I could shower and change when I got there.
They provided towels. I don't think I would have used it as often if I faced dragging a wet towel around all day. They didn't have conditioner, but I think most dudes would have been happy with the bodywash/shampoo combo they provided.
The 80/20 Rule:
The 80/20 rule allows Googlers to dedicate 80 percent of time to their primary job and 20 percent working on passion projects that they believe will help the company.
Google provides employees with a free concierge service to handle errands:
For example, Googlers Corporate Concierge team can assist with everyday tasks such as planning a dinner party as well as more unusual requests, like finding a jewel-encrusted scepter to accompany a Googler’s special Halloween outfit. The company's on-site services save workers time so that they can instead spend with family and friends or enjoying other hobbies.
Here are some of the other services employees can get done for them:
We have an amazing business that keeps growing, that customers and users love, and that provides us with more job stability than almost any other company. It's not going to make any one of us rich, but the risk-reward ratio is pretty good, and sustainable.
In addition to vacations, Google's leave policies give workers more opportunities to explore life outside of the workplace.
Googlers can take up to one three-month leave of unpaid time off, under specific circumstances. Health care benefits continue for unpaid leaves of up to three months. Googlers can use their time off to work with non-profit organizations, political campaigns and other community-oriented projects they're interested in.
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