Does Google Treat Their Employees Like Children

16 comments

This came across my feed reader today and was bit too juicy to let it slide by The Goog Life: how Google keeps employees by treating them like kids

I was talking with a friend the other day about that perennial subject of conversation in the Valley, Google. And finally she gave me the clue that made the whole place make sense. "It's about infantilizing people," she explained. "Give them free food, do their laundry, let them sit on bouncy brightly-colored balls. Do everything so that they never have to grow up and learn how to live life on their own."

Now I'm not saying I agree with the author of this post. In fact everyone I've ever met from Google has been generally a happy, well adjusted person, who likes their employer and likes their work. However there are some interesting points which echo sentiments from one high profile ex-googler Mark Jen’s

then look at all these other fringe "benefits": on-site doctor, on-site dentist, on-site car washes… the list goes on and on with one similarity: every "benefit" is on-site so you never leave work. i’m not going to say this isn’t convenient for us employees, but between all these devices designed to make us stay at work, they might as well just have dorms on campus that all employees are required to live in.

Is there a point where you can "give too much" to your employees ...

Comments

If they more closely

If they more closely followed certain Asian corporate practices, they *would* have the dorms as well. :)

Oh Jeezus

>>required to live in.

That's the crux isn't it? No one is required to use any of those onsite goodies, and no one is required to stay in a dorm. What is clear, is that people will find a way to bitch about anything.

Damn, we have everything, why? What dark and sinister motives are behind this corporate munificence?

You forgot

You forgot to mention the toilets that wash our backsides for us.

enough with the psychobabble

it's about money.

from my visits over there i've never seen anything but employees that are happy to take advantage of some very nice perks. calling these perks "infantilizing" is hystrionic bullshit.

in my view, these benefits are a reflection of a company minding its interests - if they make life at the 'plex as generally pleasant as they can (even fun), then they have employees that are happy to stay onsite for extended periods of time and work their asses off, which in turn makes google more money.

Shouldn't the Thread Title..

Have Matt Cutts in it ?

I humbly suggest
Does Google Treat Matt Cutts Like a Child

More in keeping with the current trend methinks

New Company Syndrome

If all is true,then I would say they have plenty of profit and times are good. Many new progressive companies have done similar. Oracle made a bunch of the mid-managers and higher very rich when they first started. When times get tough the benefits are the first to go...

Or, Does Google Feed Too

Or, Does Google Feed Too Many Babies to Matt Cutts, Thus Treating Him Like a Baby?

well you know

you know what they say you are what you eat ;-)

Infantile Treatment of Matt Cutts leads to Hunger for Babies

I'm too late, you already took the bait.

Infantilize me BABY!

The person that wrote that sensationalist piece obviously never worked at a startup and has no clue what's involved. You take off a few hours to go to a doctor or a dentist and you end up spending drive time both ways, waiting room time as they are never on schedule, then you end up making up that time at the office later just to meet your schedules. Many people never went out to lunch and dined from paper bags and tupperware just to keep on schedule, and you can forget seeing your family until Sunday afternoon if you're lucky.

Besides, I've worked at offices that provided free soft drinks and a few places even got food delivered that employees paid for, or had a subsidized cafeteria like Rolm did. Heck, a couple even brought in free food once a week for a brief company meeting.

So Google makes it all free AND convenient so people aren't stressing about trying to get things done and get back to work, god bless 'em, wish I'd had such perks.

Big deal, it's not news, it's envy.

Graywolf, funny you should mention Mark Jen as that's the most hysterical case of someone being admitted into the Pearly Gates by St. Peter and then getting booting to Hell because of his blog after describing the wonderful Google perks with a cynical sneer, fool.

I'd happily accept some baby

I'd happily accept some baby perks at work.

Breast milk on tap, shitting with glee abandon, throwing up on everyone around me - then smiling at them and them smiling back. Let alone playing on the floor in near nakedness kicking and cooing as I roll around.

Sounds like heaven to me. Goog, gissa job :D

Google sounds great...

Google sounds like an ideal company to work for and it is no surprise that it has evolved in this way, think about Googles origins, it looks like the University mentality has not left the organisation and I can relate to that.

In our offices we have a very relaxed vibe and a very generous MD and the whole place has a great atmosphere and more importantly peoples productivity goes through the roof because strangely enough when people enjoy being at work they work harder and smarter.

It's not only Google

These days people want every organization running to wipe their arse for them from the consumer watchdogs to government pensions. Now I see in the US the government takes responsibility for peoples' diet too, with New York about to put huge taxes on trans fats. Americans are not responsible enough to decide what they eat.

I think the story has some merit. In my dad's they you knew what responsibility was and it fed through to family values. These days you live for work and have no time for the family.

Sorry for my serious angle on a comical story, but I think people are babied enough already.

They do your laundry for

They do your laundry for you? That ROCKS! I'd just be happy with health insurance.

I worked at a Fortune 50

I worked at a Fortune 50 company for a while, in the skunk farm department.

One Christmas eve around 7pm, I stood at the Gift Shop counter looking over the $85 of Christmas tree ornaments I had just purchased. They were really nice. Colorful, glittery; I had never seen them anywhere else, and at $5 each they seemed worth the price. I knew that bringing them home would be a hit. I would add them to the tree tonight, and the wife and kids would see them in the morning.

WTF. I had no time to shop anywhere else so what did I know? I was a captive consumer. I had a health club (on site) a dry cleaner (on site) a hair salon (on site) a bank (on site) a gift shop (on site), travel agent, blah blah blah. And I was at work on Christmas eve at 7pm, happy to be buying $85 worth of mass-produced trinkets to brighten the lives of the people who rarely saw me.

I still have those ornaments (as well as the Waterford crystal water glasses and Tiffany serving trays they gave me as holiday gifts). I laugh when I used them. What a sucker I was.

Laundry, work/life balance

They do your laundry for you? That ROCKS! I'd just be happy with health insurance.

I wish! :). We actually do have laundry machines on site, but -- aside from dry cleaning (which is available via an expensive third party option) -- we gotta actually wash our own underwear thankyouverymuch. Just clarifying.

On the more serious issue that John brings up... I think atmospheres like what we have at Google can indeed enable folks who are aleady workaholics to be more efficient workaholics. But for most folks I know here (including myself), the perks are a way to both break up the day (the gym, interesting guest speakers) and also make our day more efficient so we have more free time to spend with our friends outside of Google (oil changes, hair cuts on site, etc.).

In other words, yeah, it'd be possible to practically live here and never leave campus. But that's not the point of the perks, IMHO, nor is that what happens on the whole in practice.

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