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Google, an Unconventional Company: Here's Why

Alessio has reported security vulnerabilities to Google and Apple. He also has a past as a web developer and web server administrator.

Google is one of the biggest companies in the world. Its famous search engine, the Android Platform, Gmail service, Maps, YouTube, Blogger, and many other products are used daily by millions of people everywhere. A successful story not only started from the brilliant idea of Larry Page and Sergey Brin but continued because of a specific corporate philosophy. This philosophy is called Google Culture and is something that stays behind every corporate activity. Google Culture rules the employees' lives and the entire company. In particular, I would like to highlight how Google Culture determined a specific type of work environment: by reading this article, you will discover that Google employees work in particular conditions that are not common for a typical company. My knowledge of the Google environment results from attending several events at various Google locations connected with the Google Product Experts and the Google Local Guides programs and speaking with several employees who I met at these events.

The Google Event Center in Sunnyvale, CA.

The Google Event Center in Sunnyvale, CA.

What Do You Think About Work and Companies?

In general, talking about work and companies, we often refer to some typical stereotypes:

  • Serious managers dressed in suits and ties, often working many hours a day and having a "life in the office";
  • Hard work with a boss who always spurs you to increase speed and productivity;
  • Relationships between colleagues are not always good, and you can find some unpleasant social climbers during your work life.

We can conclude work life is made by happy and sad moments, but also that, generally, there is a very serious environment inside offices.

Me attending an event at the Google building in Sunnyvale, CA.

Me attending an event at the Google building in Sunnyvale, CA.

Why Google is Different than Other Companies

Google is not the only company that decided to be unconventional. Many other businesses based in Silicon Valley (and even other companies) decided to follow this idea. You will find a generally pleasant workplace if you visit a Google office. In addition, every Google headquarter features a gym, many recreational rooms, and various places where everyone can relax or elaborate ideas useful for their work. You can find lava lamps, rubber balls, and objects in the offices you do not always find in any other company. Google understands that a funny workplace and the best work conditions are the first keys to success. Do you think companies work better with stressed employees and the boss who shouts behind them? Maintaining a good, pleasant, informal workplace motivates employees to give their best and creativity to elaborate successful ideas.

The differences between Google and the typical stereotyped company a movie or book would depict.

GoogleThe common stereotype of a company

Places

Nice places, with funny attractions.

White and anonymous offices.

Relationships

They are not so formal, and newbies often don't have particular problems when talking to a senior.

Hierarchies may be very rigid.

Creativity & Happiness At Work

They are part of the work: a happy employee who can also express himself at any level can work better and with more serenity.

If you are at the workplace, the only thing you have to do is to work with maximum efficiency. Other things stay outside the workplace. And so the work may not be 'loved' by the employee, but it may be considered just a 'hassle to carry' to have money.

It also means there is an excellent attitude to maintain good relationships between colleagues and between employees and senior figures: so, for example, hierarchical relationships don't put limits or barriers between an employee and his boss. In addition, every idea produced by an employee, at any moment, may be discussed. Yes, we can happily think some successful Google solutions have been realized even from ideas elaborated by an employee while he was in a queue at the canteen. On Google's philosophy page, you can find a complete description of what corporate life at Google means:

Me at the Android park in Mountain View (CA) during an event

Me at the Android park in Mountain View (CA) during an event

You can be serious without a suit.

Our founders built Google around the idea that work should be challenging, and the challenge should be fun. We believe that great, creative things are more likely to happen with the right company culture–and that doesn’t just mean lava lamps and rubber balls. There is an emphasis on team achievements and pride in individual accomplishments that contribute to our overall success.

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We put great stock in our employees–energetic, passionate people from diverse backgrounds with creative approaches to work, play and life. Our atmosphere may be casual, but as new ideas emerge in a café line, at a team meeting or at the gym, they are traded, tested and put into practice with dizzying speed–and they may be the launch pad for a new project destined for worldwide use.

A window of the Google European Headquarters, Dublin

A window of the Google European Headquarters, Dublin

Maybe that's why Google is a very successful company, as a good work environment is the first step to efficiency. And maybe, that's why many people would like to work at Google, or in general, to have relationships with this modern and innovative company.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2016 Alessio Ganci

Comments

Ross on May 11, 2020:

sounds great

Alessio Ganci (author) from Italy on June 20, 2016:

Happy to hear this. As a Google Top Contributor (I don't work for Google, we can say I "mediate" between Google and users when I help them on Google forums and social networks) I often travel and go to their headquarters for summits and meetups, and I can attest how beautiful they are, and how Google culture is really making a good workplace for these people.

jgshorebird on June 17, 2016:

Interesting. I learned a few things about Google.

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