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Google Reviews

These reviews contributed towards 2014's Best Places to Work recognition. See ratings and reviews for all time.
1,000 Reviews

4.3
1,000 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Google Co-Founder & CEO Larry Page
Larry Page
263 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great work-life balance with adequate opportunity for career development (in 105 reviews)

  • Free food, amazing people, amazing vision - almost everything about this company is a pro (in 220 reviews)


Cons
  • This is one reason why maintaining a good work-life balance can be challenging (in 100 reviews)

  • You can feel that it's a really big company now - difficult to advance & a lot of red tape (in 71 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 442 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

    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. 37 people found this helpful  

    Spent 5+ years in Marketing - it's different from being an engineer at Google

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

    Pros

    Awesome people, hands down. Peers and colleagues. Some of the brightest people. Company policies on expenses, perks, family, pets, etc. - all outstanding.

    Cons

    Salary isn't the best on the market. Google knows it can pay less than it has to, because people want to work for it. Google has departments working on formulas meant to pay you as little as possible. Huge fight to get to the top - everyone is in a race. A culture of overachievers, which means you have to sacrifice personal and social life to move up the ranks. I've seen amazing rates of burnout among marketing. Too much. Also, middle management can be incompetent or too busy racing to the top to care about you. Everything is in formulas, and just doing a great job is not enough. You need to shop yourself and shout about your achievements as loud as you can in order to get promoted. Also, the commute from the city sucks. Oh, and the company's product strategy is a laughing stock. Google jumps on every shiny object. It's one thing to reinvent an industry, but to launch clones is just low. Google+ is shoved down everyone's throat. Google Offers was a Groupon clone. And nobody cares about the user, the company is totally evil. Decisions are made based on $$$, and not the user in mind. Don't be fooled.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop the cutthroat practices. Force people to leave the office at 7:30 - literally, not just with a lame "you should go home". Young people are slaving their lives away for the company where you probably won't work 2 years from now. Help them enjoy themselves, their work, and the friendships they've made.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Best company I've ever worked for.

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

    Pros

    Working at a company where amazing things are made, the people are smart and the food is amazing.

    Cons

    Engineers rule. If you aren't one, you may feel slighted. Also, school snobbery may keep your department from being able to hire talented people, and force you to accept other candidates who are less desirable but went to a top tier schoo.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great company

    • 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

    Pros

    Lots of smart people, fantastic perks. I learned more here than I have anywhere else in my professional history. The older teams, such as infrastructure and apps have people that can teach you more in an hour than you learn many places in your entire tenure.

    Cons

    most of the technology is inhouse, and google faces problems no one else does, so what you learn is non-transferable. Offices outside of Mountain View are treated very poorly.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Engineering Program Manager

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Amazing place to work
    Great food
    Cool culture

    Cons

    Too much infusion of Apple culture

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Check on Apple culture infusion and influence

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    A wonderful experience.

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

    Pros

    People at Google seem happy and well taken care of. They provide food, nap places, classes, and all sorts of fun events. Even more, they have a mission you can get behind. The focus of most teams is to work hard and long to bring information to anyone who wants it. Even more, I felt that what I worked on was extremely interesting to me.

    Cons

    As an intern, I worked on an important project, but I also felt that my own contribution was relatively small due to the size of the company. I further felt a bit lost in the sheer mass of the employees. Finally, I wish I had more say about what team I wanted to be on besides "frontend" vs. "backend".

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Amazing!

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

    Pros

    Free amenities
    Relaxed culture
    Shuttles to SF
    Car Rentals
    Work hard/play hard

    Cons

    Slow progression
    Late work hours
    Some work weekends
    Sushi run out
    Employees disconnected from management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire your contractors when they are excellent talent

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Everything you would expect, good and bad, but never dull

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Manager
    Former Employee - Project Manager

    Pros

    Most employees are motivated to get things done, and path blockers can usually be detoured around relatively easily. Most of the groups I worked with are very focused and knowledgeable about their products/responsibility areas, and are usually very responsive. Not always the response you are looking for, but responsive all the same. Lots of intelligent people who are also lots of fun to work with. They work hard, and they play hard. There is definitely a sense of internal competition to be the better group/product/solution. Mountain View campus is absolutely amazing, from dining choices to personal amenities.

    Cons

    Frenetic pace may not be for everyone. Timid people, people who are easily frustrated, and people who have low tolerances for anything new/different/unknown won't survive for long. You have to be ready, willing, and able to make leaps of faith, fast deals and agreements, and keep up the pace or get left behind.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Very corporate, but educational

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Chance to work with incredibly talented and hard-working people
    Opportunities to meet the best in the business
    Excellent resume builder

    Cons

    Poor middle management
    Difficult to be heard
    Promotions and raises are rare

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire middle managers whose expertise is management. Salespeople are often more interested in themselves than in their team.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    loved it

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Engineer  in  Milwaukee, WI
    Former Employee - Engineer in Milwaukee, WI

    Pros

    work environment was very fantastic

    Cons

    i didnt have any to report

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    keep it up

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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