Google: Nice work if you can get it

The company is a family-friendly model for corporate America.


Lori Leibovich
December 6, 2005 8:24PM (UTC)

The New York Times had a short piece yesterday about the benefits and compensation offered to employees at Google. While getting a job there is a grueling process involving rounds of interviews that can last hours, it seems that once you get in the door, you and your family are golden.

Check out this list of perks:

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"Meals of all kinds, painstakingly prepared by company chefs, are free at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., a modern corporate campus known as the Googleplex. Other amenities there include children's day care, doctors, dry cleaning, laundry, a gym, and basketball and volleyball courts. Maternity or paternity leave is 12 weeks at 75 percent of full pay. There is also up to $500 available for takeout meals for the entire family after a newborn arrives, courtesy of Google. Shuttle buses (with wireless Internet access for working while commuting) ferry employees to the Googleplex from throughout the Bay area." And perhaps most important to Google's engineers is the fact that they can spend 20 percent of their time pursuing "their own ideas instead of company assignments."

OK, so maybe free meals, on-site laundry and wireless shuttles are designed to keep employees working all the time. But $500 for takeout meals for the entire family after a newborn arrives? Sounds like Sweden! Oh, and all employees get stock options, too.

Not surprisingly, this generous compensation makes employees happy.

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"If you really feel that you're part of the larger effort, that you have both opportunity and ownership, loyalty does follow," Paul Rademacher, a 31-year-old software developer told the Times.

What a concept. Give employees creative freedom, offer family-friendly policies, generally make them feel valued ... and they're loyal! Seems like a good management strategy to me.


Lori Leibovich

Lori Leibovich is a contributing editor at Salon and the former editor of the Life section.

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