Taking a Tour of the #1 Best Company
A huge shout out goes to Google, #1 on the 2012 Best Companies to Work For® list, for hosting Great Place to Work on a tour of their San Francisco facility this past Monday.
Twenty of us rolled in, ate lunch at their yummy, yet nutritious cafeteria, and caught a glimpse of their award-winning culture. We even took a few pics in the Google photobooth and had a chance to ride down the Google slide at the end of the tour.
My first impression while strolling around Google was how much it reminded me of college. At almost every corner, you found yourself at another mini café, complete with Espresso machines, bananas, and cozy chairs. Most Googlers I saw hard at work were not at desks, but rather collaborating in one of the many meeting rooms or lifting their feet up onto an ottoman, latté in hand, to work feverishly on their laptop. Google has successfully recreated the ambiance of a university, and is clearly enjoying the benefits of the energy that comes along with it.
I think the second thing that impressed me most was the health-conscious meal we happily dived into mid tour. While the only restriction the chefs encounter at Google is the absence of a deep fryer, they are clearly on the lookout for their coworker’s hearts and waistlines. The cafeteria boasted a broad assortment of fruits, vegetables and salads that were light on the oil, heavy on the tastiness. Imagine how great dieting would be if chefs like that had your back!
And, of course, there were the usual masseuses, nap time rooms and even a gaming room that have earned Google its famous reputation. Reading about these benefits is one thing, but it’s quite another to see the culture firsthand. The message conveyed is essentially feel good and be excited, and it’s clear Googlers are listening. I think back to all the times I have returned from vacation and felt refreshed and ready to dive into my work, and I realize how much better my output is when I feel rested and motivated to work. How great would it be to feel like that all of the time? And what would would it look like to have a company full of healthy, happy and excited employees constantly putting their best work out there? Well, it would look a lot like Google.
Interested in learning how you too can create an award-winning workplace culture? Check out our upcoming Small & Medium Business Conference on October 24th in San Jose, California, featuring leaders from this year's 50 Best Small & Medium Workplaces who will be discussing the unique challenges faced by small & medium-sized businesses when creating strong company cultures.
And an extra special thank you to Amber and Patrick, for guiding us through a truly world-class workplace!
Tiffany Barber is the Associate Manager of Marketing and Communications and an avid blogger for Great Place to Work®.