As some of you might know by now, Google has made it to the #1 spot in Fortune‘s 2013 “Best companies to work for” list. The Internet giant has its headquarters in the United States, in Mountain View (California) and its facilities are just part of the reason why the company is regarded as the most idyllic place one could aspire to work at nowadays. Google currently controls close to 85% of the advertising made in search engines and nearly 50% of the whole share of advertising across the world wide web. The numbers speak for themselves in terms of assessing the dimension and dynamic the company has achieved over the years, but there are a few interesting facts we would like to make note of and that concern the quality of the jobs that the company’s employees are offered.
Firstly, let’s start with a quick note about how everything started. Google was basically founded in a garage by two students from the Stanford University, Sergey Brin and Larry Page (so far it may resemble a bit to Facebook‘s own story). The two students were, on a first stage, trying to compete with other search engines at the time as it were the cases of Lycos, Inktomi, Excite and Altavista (this last one is still often remembered as the “Google” of the early 90’s). Only in the 2000 year Google has stepped up their game and launched Adwords, the now world-wide well known platform for individuals and companies to advertise through Google‘s gigantic advertising platform and which holds more or less 50% of the global ad reach on the web. The “dot com” era and boom had just begun…
These days, more than 1.5 billion people across the World use Google. The company is proud of claiming that they only recruit the most qualified people in the World and there little doubts that they are keen to reward their employees with wages way above the average salary in the sector. According to data published by Forbes magazine, a new trainee/intern at the company can win as much 5.800 dollars per month and 6.500 dollars if we’re talking about a software engineer.
In their Mountain View’s “Googleplex” camp (the name the company decided to use for their headquarter facilities), there are currently more than 3.000 employees working. The place counts with 19 food/catering areas, 60 small kitchens, two swimming pools, 1 gym, 1 bowling alley, endless mini tennis (ping-pong) and snooker tables, 1 laundry, 1 hairdresser and last but not the least, a very famous beach volley court. One of the reasons why most of the people still don’t have a very good idea and picture about the look of the inside of Google facilities, is because the company has very strict rules concerning taking photos. They only allow people to do it from the main lobby, as well as from outside of the building.
What about the dressing code? As expected, Google employees are encouraged to go work with a casual look, detached of any of the vanity or luxury that we’re used to see on Wall Street job places for example. Another interesting but predictable curiosity is that the average employee age at Google is less than 30 years. One might immediately think that Google isn’t much different from other companies also allocated at the Silicon Valley, but the truth is that this is a company that leads because they set the standards before anyone else and they offer working conditions that few in the business are capable of matching.
A few more particularities about Google and its “Googleplex” is that it also allows people to bring in their pets, like dogs or cats and they only restrict their entrance on areas where they deal with food (kitchens and catering zones). The first dog entering a Google building belonged to Urs Hoelzle (at the time one of the company’s director of operations) and it was named Yoshka. Nowadays, the snack bar near the main lobby got precisely named “Yoshka Cofee“, in honor to the first dog that was allowed to go inside Google facilities.