With about 200,000 square metres of office space, there's a replica of SpaceShipOne in the lobby. There is a dinosaur skeleton in the gardens and a playground slide that will take you from one floor to the next. The building was completed in 1998.
There are several cafe areas offering free drinks and food. fully-stocked snack rooms, nap rooms, and games rooms with video games, billiards, and table tennis. There are free bikes and scooters so employees can get from one building to another, as well as a gym. There is a free laundry room, two small swimming pools and several sand volleyball courts. There's also a sports complex with a roller hockey rink, basketball courts, a bowling alley and a mini-golf putting green. Not to mention the subsidised massages (100.000 hours were provided in 2012).
So, what's the idea behind all this "fun"? As one manager explained, the main reason for having so many amenities is to encourage productivity and creativity. While employees are relaxing, they can chat about their projects and get feedback on ideas... and hopefully create something that makes the company even more money! This may sound like a dream job, but not everyone thinks it's such a great place. A recent thread on the website Quora* asked the question, "What's the worst part about working at Google?" Here are some of the answers.
'"I worked at one of the larger non-M V [Mountain View] campuses. The only intellectual stimulation I encountered in my time there was the interview process, "said one ex-employee. "There was no discipline in the offices. People chatted about random things on the email lists, often insulting each other," said another employee. "The environment is amazing. People are smart and decent, and Google's mission is something to be proud of as an employee. However, if you enter the business thinking that you'll somehow have a hand in steering that mission, it's not the place for you. Real decisions are made at the absolute highest levels only. Everything else requires very little thought," said another.
Would you like to work there?