Does Google have the best benefits in the tech industry?
More so than Amazon, Apple, or any other name in big tech, Google is notorious for its employee perks. Woven through its company policies and its unconventional office campuses is the central aim “to create the happiest, most productive workplace in the world”. As such, Google offers a dizzying array of perks for its employees, who call themselves Googlers, that serve to elevate everyone's well-being and productivity. To quote one employee, “It's like a glorious hippie engineering commune.”
To prove our point, we've gathered a list of notable employee benefits offered by the company.
Photo credit: India Today
Google provides extensive insurance and death benefits to its employees and their families.
Google offers top-notch healthcare, with $0 premiums and a deductible cap of $1000 annually including any hospitalization for any reason. Google will also pay $1000 into an HSA to cover expenses.
One Googler remembers the times when Google's healthcare meant everything to him and his fellow employees.
“This was huge when I ended up in the hospital with emergency surgery. The bill was close to a half million. It was huge when my friend's husband ended up in the hospital due to a motorcycle accident and another time with diabetes. I could help her know that the financial side wasn't the issue.”
In case the worst should happen, Google will provide life insurance as well as half of your current salary to your spouse for up to 10 years. Further, each of your children will receive $1,000 per month until age 19, or age 23 for full-time students.
One Googler’s wife described this perk as reassuring. “I wish we never have to use this benefit - but knowing that it exists is relief. It puts my mind at ease knowing that kids will be taken care of.”
Photo credit: Metro UK
Google recently increased its vacation policy for all employees to 20 days of PTO per year, plus an additional day for each year of tenure up to 25 days. This is in addition to unlimited paid sick days and 12 paid holidays. Google truly makes WLB a top priority.
Google offers 18-week paid parental leave for non-birthing parents and 24-week paid parental leave for birthing parents.
After the leave ends, Google also offers high-quality on-site daycare facilities with an excellent student/teacher ratio, individualized learning plans, and a focus on emotional development. One Googler praised the daycare center’s care for her child, complimenting the teacher’s attention to the individual personalities of the children in their care.
“I was very impressed by the fact that the teachers were able to tell me in detail what she tried and didn't try during lunch. They could also tell me whether she took a nap in the afternoon, and what she did during the day. This was the kind of attention that was unthinkable at her previous day care.”
Photo credit: Metro UK
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One notorious perk at this tech giant is the free meals offered on their office campuses. Google Office Campuses are strewn with a variety of cafes, restaurants, and well-stocked micro kitchens that provide food for Googlers, free of charge. At Google, employees are rarely further than 200 feet away from food. One employee jotted down a sample menu from two cafes at the Googleplex in San Francisco you can access here.
Google employees are a huge fan of this perk. For example, one Googler loved how the free food and laundry services left him with all his “chores.. taken care of so [he] can focus on work”.
At Google, the company’s commitment to encouraging a good work-life balance extends to wellness. Google offers a wide array of classes at its exercise facilities, even martial arts classes taught by highly qualified instructors. The Googleplex at the Mountain View campus offers extensive fitness centers, but if your location does not have a large gym, Google will offer a gym reimbursement so you can find your own location to work out.
One Googler’s favorite perk was the on-campus showers.
“I love to think in the shower and frequently worked out ideas in there. The opportunity to get outside and run around if you had some energy to work off, knowing you could just shower and switch into some other clothes helped alleviate a lot of the fidgety energy I felt being pent up in a cubicle. It let me focus on work. I also felt comfortable pushing myself harder on my morning bike ride in, knowing I could shower and change when I got there,” she said.
Googlers can bring their pets to work. One Googler estimated that 1 in 4 Googlers bring their dog to work. Bringing your dog can work can be a great opportunity to catch some air, and many of your coworkers will want to share your best friend’s love. Dogs make appearances everywhere, from the campus grounds to meetings.
If you’re not a fan of dogs or have allergies, not to worry. Google’s commitment to employee wellbeing extends to Googlers before their pets. Pets are expected to be trained before coming to the workplace, and are kept out of food areas and away from coworkers with allergies.
Need a break? Book a nap pod. Googlers are evaluated on the work they do over the course of long projects, so taking a break is encouraged if it helps you perform better at work.
Photo credit: Fortune
Even Googlers run into technical difficulties, and when they do, Google offers 24/7 technical support to help its employees get their jobs done. TechStop is Google’s in-house technical support shop, offering hardware and software support every day of the week. One employee found TechStop particularly helpful because they offered “extension cords, plugs, screen wipes or you name it, all the accessories we would want are available in the office Techstop.”
Googlers can participate in eating their own dog food. That is to say that Googlers often are early adopters or beta-testers of the products developed at their company, long before they are widely available to the public. About the practice, one employee commented “I get a sneak peek at the future, and if I give good feedback or get even more involved, I can shape it as well.”
At Google, employees are encouraged to “spend 20% of their time working on what they think will most benefit Google”. This time spent outside of their typical workday is expected to facilitate creativity and innovation. 20% time has resulted in many of the technology company’s flagship products, like Gmail.
Google takes this one step further by providing a dizzying array of facilities to ensure their employees can reach their goals. One employee’s favorite perk was the large workshop at Mountain View, which had a machine shop, wood shop, welding shop, electronics shop, sewing machines, 3D printers, laser cutters, and more.
Photo credit: Insider
Googlers often state that “the other employees are [their] favorite part of working at Google.” Google is notoriously selective, with several rounds of interviews and an acceptance rate of 0.2%, with a significant portion of the interview process selecting candidates who fit well into the company culture. One Googler praised the talent of his coworkers - “It's amazing to get to work with these people and learn from them.”
Googlers value teamwork, with “most Googlers rate the amount of help they get from other teams very highly.”
Another Googler pointed out how the offices deliberately facilitate getting to know your coworkers. “There are no private offices, even for management - the CEO and VPs all have shared offices. The point is to encourage lots of discussion and collaboration.”
The perks of working for Google extend even after you leave the company. Aside from the obvious perks of having such a well known brand on your resume, Xooglers (read ex-Googlers) make up some of the largest alumni support portals in the world. One Xoogler had to say, “If you're a Xoogler, you'll know someone in any country you visit.”
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