Google

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Google Reviews in California

Updated December 17, 2014
Updated December 17, 2014
2,799 Reviews
4.4
2,799 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Google Co-Founder & CEO Larry Page
Larry Page
1,548 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great work-life balance with adequate opportunity for career development (in 140 reviews)

  • Free food onsite three times a day is an essential convenience factor (in 262 reviews)


Cons
  • This is one reason why maintaining a good work-life balance can be challenging (in 122 reviews)

  • You can feel that it's a really big company now - difficult to advance & a lot of red tape (in 93 reviews)

More Highlights

1,031 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 665 people found this helpful  

    Moving at the speed of light, burn out is inevitable

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Mountain View, CA
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Mountain View, CA

    I worked at Google full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    1) Food, food, food. 15+ cafes on main campus (MTV) alone. Mini-kitchens, snacks, drinks, free breakfast/lunch/dinner, all day, errr'day.

    2) Benefits/perks. Free 24:7 gym access (on MTV campus). Free (self service) laundry (washer/dryer) available. Bowling alley. Volley ball pit. Custom-built and exclusive employee use only outdoor sport park (MTV). Free health/fitness assessments. Dog-friendly. Etc. etc. etc.

    3) Compensation. In ~2010 or 2011, Google updated its compensation packages so that they were more competitive.

    4) For the size of the organization (30K+), it has remained relatively innovative, nimble, and fast-paced and open with communication but, that is definitely changing (for the worse).

    5) With so many departments, focus areas, and products, *in theory*, you should have plenty of opportunity to grow your career (horizontally or vertically). In practice, not true.

    6) You get to work with some of the brightest, most innovative and hard-working/diligent minds in the industry. There's a "con" to that, too (see below).

    Cons

    1) Work/life balance. What balance? All those perks and benefits are an illusion. They keep you at work and they help you to be more productive. I've never met anybody at Google who actually time off on weekends or on vacations. You may not hear management say, "You have to work on weekends/vacations" but, they set the culture by doing so - and it inevitably trickles down. I don't know if Google inadvertently hires the work-a-holics or if they create work-a-holics in us. Regardless, I have seen way too many of the following: marriages fall apart, colleagues choosing work and projects over family, colleagues getting physically sick and ill because of stress, colleagues crying while at work because of the stress, colleagues shooting out emails at midnight, 1am, 2am, 3am. It is absolutely ridiculous and something needs to change.

    2) Poor management. I think the issue is that, a majority of people love Google because they get to work on interesting technical problems - and these are the people that see little value in learning how to develop emotional intelligence. Perhaps they enjoy technical problems because people are too "difficult." People are promoted into management positions - not because they actually know how to lead/manage, but because they happen to be smart or because there is no other path to grow into. So there is a layer of intelligent individuals who are horrible managers and leaders. Yet, there is no value system to actually do anything about that because "emotional intelligence" or "adaptive leadership" are not taken seriously.

    3) Jerks. Sure, there are a lot of brilliant people - but, sadly, there are also a lot of jerks (and, many times, they are one and the same). Years ago, that wasn't the case. I don't know if the pool of candidates is getting smaller, or maybe all the folks with great personalities cashed out and left, or maybe people are getting burned out and it's wearing on their personality and patience. I've heard stories of managers straight-up cussing out their employees and intimidating/scaring their employees into compliance.

    4) It's a giant company now and, inevitably, it has become slower moving and is now layered with process and bureaucracy. So many political battles, empire building, territory grabbing. Google says, "Don't be evil." But, that practice doesn't seem to be put into place when it comes to internal practices. :(

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1) Don't dismiss emotional intelligence and adaptive leadership. They're not just catch phases. You need great managers and leaders in order to build great companies and develop great employees. The people who may be brilliant at solving technical issues may not be (and are most often, not) the best candidates for management.

    2) Do something about that work-ife balance. Don't just have a bunch of pow-wows and tech talks and discussions about it. Leadership should actually model it. Consider re-evaluating how work is done; what processes are in place that are inefficient and ineffective and need to be updated or removed?

    3) Don't forget that there is already a pool of incredibly talented people within the company. If career development is really a goal at Google, then do it. Don't just hire from the outside. Take the time to help your employees develop their careers - then maybe you won't lose some of the great ones, and maybe you'll have prevent some of that burn out and disillusionment.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Hard work is rewarded with raises and bonuses

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Mountain View, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Mountain View, CA

    I have been working at Google full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Whenever I've worked extra hard or stood out, I've been rewarded with salary bumps and big bonuses. I like that my accomplishments are noticed by my manager and peers and rewarded accordingly.

    Cons

    Google is a big company; you need to make sure you're on the right team. I felt suffocated on my first team but LOVE my second (current) team. Some of my friends have had very different experiences because they're on different teams.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    I am greatly enjoying what I do.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer III in Mountain View, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer III in Mountain View, CA

    I have been working at Google

    Pros

    The culture. Specifically, the way my coworkers treat me, the way my manager treats me, the policies that affect me, the work itself, and the opportunities for growth.

    Cons

    The noise and density of the Mountain View offices. I'm introverted, and I have to use earplugs or work from home to work effectively.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I'd greatly appreciate more space and more support for working alone.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
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  5.  

    Google

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Google

    Pros

    Best place to work. They have so many benefits, allow you to work 20% of time on your own projects, can bring dog to work, food court, exercise so much to love.

    Cons

    Sometimes I feel like I am required to live at work. I would like to spend more time with my family than is sometimes expected of me.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Good leadership, more interaction day to day with employees.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Great place

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Sales Manager in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Google full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    People are amazing and doing the right thing.

    Cons

    Getting really big. Really noting bad can be said.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Not much. Move faster, even faster.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Great place to work and have an impact

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Staff Software Engineer in Mountain View, CA
    Current Employee - Staff Software Engineer in Mountain View, CA

    I have been working at Google full-time

    Pros

    You can make a really big impact on the world working at google. There's an amazing diversity of projects, the resources available to the company are basically unequaled, and leadership is genuinely trying to do things that make the world a better place.

    Cons

    Google is severely lacking in gender, racial, and age diversity. It can also be easy to let Google consume your life out of work (i.e. social life); for some, though, that may not be a con.

    The transition to Larry Page as CEO was rocky, but I think we've come out ok, and employees are generally coming to trust Larry's leadership. Few regret Vic Gundotra's departure.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Great company culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mountain View, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mountain View, CA

    I have been working at Google full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Employees and company values are great. Colleagues cheer you on and are very supportive of one another even though there is a lot of competition. People are willing to jump in to get things done. It is relatively easy to jump between groups/orgs.

    Cons

    Work-life balance can be difficult. Google makes it really easy to stay after hours.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Larry & Sergey have never missed an opportunity to go the extra mile for their employees.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Product Manager in Mountain View, CA
    Current Employee - Product Manager in Mountain View, CA

    I have been working at Google full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Tremendous commitment to work/life balance, very tolerant of internal career changes, outstanding values.

    Cons

    Company continues to grow quickly, which can cause stress on internal dependencies.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  10.  

    Satisfied Google Engineer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Mountain View, CA
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Mountain View, CA

    I have been working at Google as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Excellent perks, beautiful campus, management is decent and you are surrounded by creative inspiring people. The compensation is great as well.

    Cons

    The work/life balance is heavily distorted. You could not work here without getting burnt out in a year unless you absolutely love what you do. Thankfully this is true to most everyone here.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Working here is exactly what you would think

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Account Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Account Manager in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Google full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Benefits: Google Stock, 401k matching, free food, free gym, free cell phone (in sales), work-life balance

    Cons

    Usually hires over-qualified people, slow career progression can be frustrating

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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