Google Reviews in United Kingdom | Glassdoor

Google UK Reviews

Updated May 22, 2017
186 reviews

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4.2
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186 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Work life balance is often mentioned but rarely (in 279 reviews)

  • Sometimes you feel you are very alone in this big company (in 236 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (13)

    "Google: change is needed to avoid complacency & loss of competitive edge"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Strategic Partner Development Manager in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Strategic Partner Development Manager in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    2 types of people that will find a great place to work: (1) recent college or B-school graduates looking for a first job where they can learn a lot, and (2) more senior corporate executives with many years of experience who aren't overly ambitious and are looking for a role where they can put life on auto-pilot and glide through their day-to-day activities.

    Cons

    There is no clear career progression, and senior management is arrogant.

    Advice to Management

    Reward employees based on achievements as opposed to favoritism by one's direct line manager. Ensure that rewards / bonuses / promotions are not entirely up to one person (ie the specific team manager), and instead need to factor in feedback and opinions that the direct line manager cannot overrule.


  2. Helpful (10)

    "If they ever rebrand as a restaurant I'd definitely eat there."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Recruiter in London, England (UK)
    Former Contractor - Recruiter in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Google as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    The food is absolutely fantastic, and most offices are genuinely cool.

    Cons

    If you are not an engineer you will be working surrounded by a collection of people scared to get in the way of the engineers. The amount of legacy systems in HR and recruitment were just astonishing. Zero priority.

    Some people are nice, some aren't. The Googleyness thing basically boils down to "never give bad feedback". Management is terrified of direct feedback, and "anonymous" queries that result in less than good grades will be pursued until people change them. As a result, there's a yes culture where people are basically grateful for being there, and not able/eager to change or improve anything that did not come from the top.

    Even on the engineering side of things: sure, if you are working in Google X you'll probably be doing cool stuff. The blunt of the rest is basically tweaking ads. Don't forget, 90% of revenue comes from online advertisement. A proportional amount of engineering time is devoted to make sure it continues that way.

    Let's skip the disregard for privacy because this is bad enough :)

    Advice to Management

    Be honest about bad feedback. It's the only way to improve.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Cross between Big Bang Theory and Nathan Barley"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in London, England (UK)
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Google as a contractor

    Pros

    - Looks good on your CV
    - You get to work with some really smart people
    - Free food (if that's important to you)
    - Great facilities (if you have time to use them)

    Cons

    - Lack of social skills among most of the engineers makes it a very dull environment to work in. The decor screams 'fun' and 'zany' but the people are anything but. It took real persistence to get basic greetings out of people sometimes. Lots of lonely, isolated, awkward people who seem to rely wholly on Google for their social life - beers at TGI (Thank Google It's) Fridays, Google employee groups/clubs/organisations/networks etc.
    - TCVs (Temps, Contractors and Vendors) are looked down on as an underclass. The assumption is that as a temp or contractor you're desperate to convert. I was a contractor and although it wasn't true for me, I did see some of this 'Google or Die' attitude among some TCVs and there was the irritating assumption that I would have the same attitude.
    - Arrogance towards or ignorance of the outside world. Some people couldn't conceive that other places of work could compare to Google. In some cases, it was because they had only ever worked inside the Google bubble, but in some cases it was sheer arrogance and false pride at being a Googler.
    - Company jargon is sinister and off-putting and contributes to the arrogance of some of its employees - being Googly, being a Googler, Noogler etc.

    Advice to Management

    - Look to broaden your hiring intake by hiring for EQ not just IQ. Get people in with personality and social skills so that the atmosphere doesn't end up like a morgue. There are super-intelligent people doing repetitive donkey work there anyway so you obviously don't need everyone to be super-intelligent.
    - Take action to stop Google culture and values being used to encourage arrogance in your employees.
    - Rethink how you incentivise your staff. Sometimes work gets done purely to meet OKRs not because it really needs to be done or because it's the right thing to do. It seems to encourage dishonest manipulation of targets rather than an honest assessment of what needs to be done and what has been achieved. This seemed to be more prevalent among product managers who seemed to promise things they didn't fully understand and then lean on and browbeat engineers to deliver it.


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  5. "Good experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Personal Assistant in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Senior Personal Assistant in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Really great Office culture, good people

    Cons

    Compensation needs to be more aligned

    Advice to Management

    perks


  6. Helpful (7)

    "Horrible HR and way too many reorgs"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Strategist in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Account Strategist in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Google full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits, free food, awesome trips organised by Google etc
    - mazing training resources such as "Googler to Googler" side project where you can teach what you know and sign up for classes where other googlers will teach you what they are good at.

    Cons

    Every 8 months a reorg will happen and you will have to rush to find another role. Hr will be absolutely useless and will not help in any way. If you like not having a job every six months, then you are in for a threat.

    Advice to Management

    Value people who work hard, not those who are your friends in a personal level.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Industry Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Food, company profile and status in the industry, competitive salary

    Cons

    ruthless corporate culture, unrealistic growth targets, arrogance

    Advice to Management

    You were nicer when you were just a search company


  8. Helpful (7)

    "Great as a first experience, bad mid-stage career move"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Google (More than a year)

    Pros

    Free food and great compensation policy.

    Travel policy is enlightened.

    Smart colleagues, but not the highest density of smarts I've worked with.

    Cons

    Feels like a huge company, can see 150+ devs in my open plan area. Feels like if you keeled over at the keyboard another would take your place without blinking. Find the large open plan office inhibiting and less likely to spawn conversation than you're own office or group area.

    Working hard without trying to appear to be doing so is the norm. Quite a few 20% projects conducted on personal time and only revealed if they have some promise. Internally people say 20% time is dead anyway.

    No whiteboards in work area. What? After that whiteboard based interview?

    Sit-stand desks held out during recruiting, but not actually available. External assessor report "you need one with that injury, but they've become too stingy about buying them". So now stuck on a list of 80+ others. All of whom lose their desk with every seating re-shuffle.

    Your first year is supposed to be your best. Personally I work with a team in a different continent who are very tight and the interactions are pretty challenging. Have no professional connection beyond the two people next to me. Feels incredibly isolated.

    You lose a lot of involvement coming to google, you won't interview in your first year or have build sheriff responsibilities.

    You can change jobs in select windows and not without manager permission.

    Advice to Management

    Rather than simply enticing people with promises of a technically interesting job and great career, invest in helping new folk get orientated. Mentors should not be on the same team so you are free to speak and question. After Noogler orientation you're left in a void - no follow up from your recruiter, no efforts to help you forge connections. It's just down to you and I've found that pretty hard due to working with few people in the local office.

    Vision is an undesirable property in the company. Sure there's a high level vision, but not a lot beyond that.

    Senior managers visit London and wise crack over beers. Feels like a frat club populated by folks in their mid-thirties who are insanely happy with what the company has done for them.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Exciting but be careful with New Business Sales (NBS) for Ads products"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Development Consultant in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Business Development Consultant in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Google full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Google brand and innovation.
    Super smart colleagues, young, collaborative, and very fast-paced.
    Powerful sales tools at your disposal to sell ads.
    Benefits: free 5 star food, high spec gym, free massage, incredible offices, and personal benefits too.
    You really feel part of a bigger cause at Google and a sense of pride.

    Cons

    Lack of work-life balance in new business for Ads.
    Aggressive numbers-oriented sales environment.
    EMEA New business for ads is churn and burn environment.
    Sales policies that stop you from selling.
    Saturated market.

    Advice to Management

    Be patient. Hire external managers. Sort out the ramping period for newbies.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Great perks, mediocre career opportunities"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Product Marketing Manager in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Product Marketing Manager in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great benefits, this is the main reason people site for working at Google. My colleagues were fantastic and make my daily life at Google much happier.

    Cons

    Your job is generally dreadfully boring, so the good perks are the only thing you can really look for to. Once these are taken away I'm not really sure why someone would want to work there, usually perhaps you are an engineer.
    There is no real career growth at Google, because no one wants to leave, this forces the best talent to leave the firm prematurely while the good old boys keep their well paid jobs.

    Advice to Management

    Improve career prospects if you want people to stick around longer.


  11. "Challenging"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in City of London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in City of London, England (UK)
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - Relaxed environment
    - Considerate to personal needs
    - Great benefits
    - Growing business

    Cons

    - Poor on boarding
    - In experienced work colleagues
    - Poor management
    - too many meetings

    Advice to Management

    -


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