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Google Employee Reviews

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Don't be a Google Maps GIS Surveyor
Adecco contractor, surveyor, Insight, PlaceSense (Former Employee) –  Austin, TXSeptember 11, 2015
There is a strong divide between working as a contractor for Google vs being an employee. It was like being at the fence of the garden of Eden, looking in at happy Googlers, while sitting just out of reach. Being a Google employee, a "white badger", is great. Being a contractor (or TVC as Google calls us) can range from honestly very great, to terrible. If you're a developer who is a contractor, or a manager, life is pretty good. But if you're a worker bee, it's rough. The maps people possibly have the worst of it.

The Google divide is becomes quickly, starkly obvious just after starting. There is no health insurance, and no paid time off when working as a Google Maps surveyor (or any TVC). Traveling extensively, often no where interesting, and staying over the weekend with no option to return home for weeks at a time made this job very hard for me, especially because I have a family. Vacations, even short ones, where highly detrimental to putting food on the table and paying rent.

Google gave me a corporate credit card to pay for daily meals, which was good. BUT the card was heavily micromanaged with daily and weekly reports due for its use. Even though it had a daily expenditure cap. But I was never allowed to gain points for purchases, while my managers quickly become diamond Hilton members making reservations for me... A very clear double standard. You are also expected to enter business spaces and survey but without permission from business and business owners, which didn't sit well with me.

It was also falsely advertised as 50-75% travel, but was actually closer
  more... to 92.5 percent travel. I counted the days I spent with my wife, I spent about 35 days with her over a year. When I asked about this, I was informed the nature of the work changed since I was hired, and I could quit or continue working. (The nature hadn't changed, it was like that from day 1.)

It was very easy to be fired. Once, this is true, a surveyor accidentally bumped into a Google employee while passing the employee in a hallway. That TVC was fired within ten minutes, because the employee thought it was done on purpose. Another TVC made a joke an employee didn't like, and security literally showed up and escorted that person to their hotel, packed their bags, and brought them to the airport. TVC are constantly criticized my Google managers and TVC managers on the quality of their work. Any dip in "numbers and metrics" usually foreshadowed a reprimand. So a lot of TVC falsified their work to have high numbers, which made honest employees look like slackers. But the "top performers" where not questioned. This really caused a toxic work environment.

Management rarely reached out except to criticize, and frankly couldn't remember TVC names most of the time.

Performance reviews were strange. Many questions were asked, but one question was always asked. Managers constantly asked TVCs is they were "happy", which everyone automatically answered "yes", regardless of the honest of that. Google has a strange was of equating "happiness" to "job performance". While it's true happy employees work better, that doesn't mean honestly unhappy ones aren't working well. But everyone who admitted to being "unhappy" was let go within a month or two.

Fellow TVCs are delusional. Many TVC claim to be Google employees, but become notably distressed when unable to attend Google events, and TVC managers are vindictive when other TVC point out that "we are all TVCs." Many falsely claim to be Google employees on their linkedin profiles. When the job is particularly bad, TVC offer each other reassurance that "at least they can put Google on their resume", which is just sad.

Google managers are removed from the TVC reality. When going to Brazil, I requested emergency medical supplies, which was denied, because Brazil "wasn't a safety concern according to the Google Security Team." While sitting at gunpoint, briefly hostage in a favela, I was relieved that I purchased the kit myself. When we finally notified our Google manager of our near death experience, his response was, "I'm in meetings all day, sounds like you guys are alive and took care of it."

Not having insurance become a big problem too. Due to the laws of probability, I was put in several situations where people tried to actually murder me, either through vehicular homicide while driving, and once at gun point. All in less than a year. Being a combat veteran myself, having some one trying to kill me isn't new. What was new was having zero safety net for my family should I die. And having fellow Americans (or in some cases, Brazilians) trying to kill me.

There was zero protection for women. Several of the female surveyors were nearly sexually assaulted or robbed when working in bad areas. All surveyors are put in situations of questionable safety, but being female seemed to attract even more than usual trouble.

Overall, between the micromanagement, danger, and time away from home, this was a miserable job. I don't recommend it.

If health and life insurance, and paid time off were part of the job, it would have been a better.
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Pros
Free food
Cons
dangerous, zero growth, time away from home, no benefits
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always a leavel 4
Technician Lead lll Eazy going love to teach (Current Employee) –  MTV CAFebruary 10, 2014
Typical work day will consist of pass downs picking up wear swing left off basic PM walk through ect.
I have learned so much from the wonderful people at Google . It is a place of never ending knowledge fun happiness. I am proud and fortune to be a part of a place you actually enjoy breaking a sweat fore everyday.
Iv taught new hires and up coming technicians the proper procedures and technical skills needed to preform tech ll duties The great people I have met in my two years here have inspired me to better my education and follow what once was a dream. The reason I rated management low was due to their chain of command, there is none, employee hand book states all employees that have been promoted must wait a period of at least 6 to 8 mounts and management positions a degree / work experience is required before an employee can be eligible to apply for a change of position and/or promotion.
This rule and a bunch others don't apply to friends higher management.
For example there are a hand full of employees have been promoted with out any experience or degree's, actually moved up three to four positions in less then six mounts
hardest part of the job my I would guess would be when the rains comes most roofs due to new AC units and general people walking on them create leaks x a bunch of bldgs. is kayos.
Pros
free food! all you can eat, what ever you want to eat, when ever you want to eat
Cons
you eat to much.
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Great place to work if all you need is free meals
Support Team Lead (Former Employee) –  Mountain View, CAJuly 29, 2014
Google's management structure consists of a caste of managers whom freely rotate from project to project irrespective of their past performance or experience. One of the 6 managers I had while I worked there (a period of 5 months) told us that 5/6 of his previous projects had been failures. That's fine for him, but it's likely that all his employees in that department were laid off. It's also likely that they were low-paid contractors. I discovered that a large number of workers at Google were contractors being paid in the $10-14 per hour range. Many of these contractors were also denied the famous free meals, bus service, and facilities of Google. And they were reprimanded for riding the Google bikes, which are also famous for having a 50% theft rate, yet contractors couldn't use them...

The bottom line is, Google makes it's money off of marketing, and cares little for it's employees, contractors, or customers, beyond their ability to generate revenue. Anyone who says otherwise is probably blinded by the bright colors and slightly-above-standard perks.
Pros
free meals
Cons
extremely compartmentalized business units, high turnover, unclear management structure, lack of focus or goals, low salary, not receptive to feedback or suggestions
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Welcome back to high school
New Business Sales Associate, International (Current Employee) –  Ann Arbor, MIMarch 21, 2015
The environment feels like being in high-school. The only thing missing is the bell ringing at the end of the day.
Open floor space, can be distracting. Very noisy. Lots of cross-conversations can happen while you're on the phone and people are willfully oblivious to that.
Management's philosophy is to continuously give you feedback, whether you need it or not. Feedback overload is inevitable.
Your co-workers are classified in two categories: The arrogant spoiled brat, and the naive just out of college techno guru who relies exclusively on data and technology and not much on common sense.
The most challenging part of the job is managing your 8-hour day with meetings, appointments, reschedulings and administrative tasks, which according to management should only take a few minutes of your day.
The most enjoyable part of the job,is talking to people over the phone and learning about their business. Some of the perks such as free breakfast and lunch are nice but it gets kind of old especially when you're not being paid much. You can drink beer at your desk on Fridays after 4:30pm.
Pros
cafeteria serving breakfast and lunch
Cons
negligible vacation time, being asked to work during holidays
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Exciting and a very fun place to work
Contractor (Operations Technician Assistant) (Former Employee) –  Atlanta, GAJanuary 29, 2013
I loved this job and too bad it was only a one year contract. Typically a daily routine would be testing memory from the servers that google utilizes from all it's data centers globally. A few times a week we would brain storm over other IT related subjects and on Fridays we would go to lunch together and it felt more like a family atmosphere. I can honestly say I learned more about IT than in my 10 years working/school combined. Management was fair and respectable. Any time you needed personal time or was sick they would not hesitate to help out. Co workers were fun to work with and always there to assist in any issues I had or questions. The hardest part of the job was the fast paced environment. We would continually receive shipments daily and had to inventory, scan and shelve the memory so if you ran a little behind it would be a challenge to catch up. But the overall job experience was great. It had all the perks that I heard about on the news, web, etc.
Pros
free meals, video game lounge, gym
Cons
no benefits, only a year contract
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Great co-workers
Technical support (Former Employee) –  tempe azMarch 11, 2014
Inbound technical calls regarding customer's Google account. Anything from e-mail, their pin marker not showing on Google maps, 2 or more pin markers showing on maps. FAQ's on how to get higher in the rankings when people search for services. I would also respond via cases which are in an e-mail form if there were no calls coming in.

I learned how to increase your rankings for your business when people search in Google. I learned there are some people who try to "take over" rival business owner's location on maps so they don't show up during searches. I learned new ways to serve customers in a "Googly" fashion, which was awesome.

Most managers were very very helpful. There were a few that had a short fuse to put it lightly.

Co-workers were awesome.

Hardest part was dealing with a rare upset customer. I always calmed them down and let them know we will get this issue resolved and they are in good hands.

Nice customers that made my day when I was able to resolve their issue, great co-workers, pot lucks, random drawings for ipads, ipods, iphones, good benefits.
Pros
nice customers that made my day when i was able to resolve their issue, great co-workers, pot lucks, random drawings for ipads, ipods, iphones, good benefits.
Cons
micro management
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Working at Google is like trying to do your homework in a frat house living room.
Systems Analyst (Former Employee) –  Mountain View, CAOctober 22, 2013
Don't get me wrong. Most of the people I met and worked with and around were very nice. ALL WERE TERRIBLY SMART!

More than a few (management) seemed to look down their noses at me because I didn't have multiple PhD degrees. It was as if my 44 years of Computing experience was of no value.

I was constantly musing to myself the things that parents tell their kids. "Don't run in the house!" "Pick up your room!" "Inside voices!"

I was almost run down by someone RUNNING down the stairs. They whipped around the corner and there I was.

I did EXCELLENT WORK at Google and asked frequently for rate increases. ALL were declined.

Most of my friends were working in the kitchen (contractors).

There are three classes of "Citizens" at Google. #1 - employees, #2 - interns, #3 - everyone else.

Employees were ALLOWED to bring their dogs to work... so one would walk the hallways and be confronted by a barking/growling dog!
Pros
very relaxed environment.
Cons
the google attitude that non phd people were worthless.
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Still a great place to work with the smartest people you will find
Media Specialist (Current Employee) –  DublinMarch 2, 2012
I have been working for Google 4,5 years at this stage and still love working there. What makes Google fantastic are the people, who are some of the smartest and most interesting you will encounter. However, job satisfaction depends largely on the team that you are in and the management that you are under. Some teams, such as Sales or Acquisitions, have a great deal of mindless administrative work which can be very frustrating. Also work-life balance in Sales is poor, and the wages are not high enough to compensate for this. There is a lot of top-down initiative pushing and revenue pressure, and morale can be quite low as a result. Engineering/Product Management on the other hand seems to be the "sexiest jobs alive" at Google. These jobs are very hard to get however, and it helps to have a contact within the firm to be referred.
Pros
exceptionally smart people, great culture, diversity, good benefits (free food, healthcare, stock options etc.), great office interior
Cons
top-down pressure, insufficient compensation, lack of worklife balance, growing red tape/admin
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Very diverse and fun workplace.
Scan Operator/ Data Entry Clerk (Former Employee) –  Mountain View, CAMay 1, 2012
A typical day at work was exactly that, it was typical. I had a set amount of instructions to follow and a certain quota I was to meet everyday. The only thing that changed were the books we had to scan and the quality in which we got those books but all in all, Google was a great place to work.

I learned the importance in the quality of your work and the effectiveness of listening attentively. Google was the best work experience because it taught me the importance of being on-time and how tardiness/absent affected the company as a whole.

Management at Google was always fair and understanding. I wouldn't have work under anyone else. My supervisors were very efficient in the work they had to do and in overseeing that we were up to par.

My co-workers at Google were always fun and easy to get along with. Some of which I can now say I have formed personal relationships with.

The hardest part of the job was working with very fragile books in which it was either easy to tear, or hard to open.

The most enjoyable part of the job was the job in itself. I am a very social person and the job helped me be social without messing with or up my work at hand.
Pros
snacks, management, and understanding
Cons
uncomfortable chairs.
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My Experience at Google
Local Data Operations Evaluator (Current Employee) –  Mountain View, CAJuly 17, 2015
My experience at Google summed up in one word would be "unforgettable". The opportunity of working in such a successful, prestigious company was a real privilege. A typical work day involved waking up early, catching the morning shuttle, enjoying a nice ride to work with comfortable seats and wifi, after arriving at my destination I would quickly go to the cafe nearest to me and grab some breakfast and coffee, then head over to my desk to check emails, and start working on my production. My co-workers were always very friendly and outgoing. We would all interact about our job and share insight or give advice to one another on how to improve. I've learned how important it is to ask for feedback on work in order to improve as well as give something back to the team. The hardest part of my job was completing the production in a timely manner but my favorite part was when it was finally accomplished at the end of the week. Overall great place to work!
Pros
Great People!, Great Atmosphere!
Cons
Late Buses
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Great opportunity with an open community and great benefits
Places Customer Care Representative (Former Employee) –  Tempe, AZMarch 12, 2015
I had learned a great deal of Google products and how they work to better an individuals work lifestyle. Every day you learn something new and you continue to grow your communication skills because not only are you learning to speak with different people around the world, but you also engage in troubleshooting their needs and collaborate with coworkers to fix the problem. Management was very professional, in addition they always check up on you to make sure you perform to company standards while coaching you on whatever skill(s) you need to improve on. Hardest part of the job was getting to memorize the policies and rules you had to enforce. While the most enjoyable part of the job is getting to walk around and explore the facility during break, having decent food for lunch, and just getting to know everyone was really fun.
Pros
different areas where employees can relax, and good training programs
Cons
no free meals
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I was actually a contract worker for Google through Ranstad, so I wouldn't base my review on Google in general.
Quality Control Operator (Former Employee) –  Mountain View, CAApril 17, 2015
A typical day as a contract worker at Google wasn't always the best. You just sat in front of a computer all day working on whatever projects the they have you working on. They had leads watch over you constantly, so there was limitless conversation. Basically, being micro-managed. Terrible way to work. Ugh! So glad that I left that place. I don't know how it was that I managed to work there for as long as I did. I guess to gain work experience, which wasn't much. I wouldn't say that there was much of management because they had a recruiting agency on sight she wasn't very nice. Too serious, like, "dude, chill out!" As for the leads, there were some good ones. The hardest part of the job was having to sit at my seat all day! What a horrible experience! And the most enjoyable part of the job was going on breaks and actually feeling human and being able to have some kind of human reaction. NEVER AGAIN!
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Fantastic engineers, one-of-a-kind opportunities
CA (Former Employee) –  Software EngineerNovember 5, 2011
For engineers, Google is a company unlike any other. The caliber of the people there is super-high, the resources and data available are unmatched, and the problems are challenging and meaningful. While I was there, I felt like a valued employee by my team and the company as a whole. The culture of openness was impressive and changed my views on how a company should be run.

That said, it's not for everyone and the Google of today is not the same as the early 2000's. It has "grown up" and lost a lot of the playfulness and deliberate wanderlust that made the company and the brand so powerful and successful. It will continue to be an important place with great opportunities for learning and growth, but those looking for the impact and ownership of a startup should look elsewhere.
Pros
flexible hours, great engineering culture, generous benefits, brightly painted offices
Cons
long hours, distributed teams, easy to get lost, *way* too much email
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A very fun place to work but knowledge management wise deficites
Geo Visual Data Analyst (Former Employee) –  Mountain View, CAApril 7, 2015
I learned a lot about Austria an the other German speaking countries and their geo data. Before I started to work for Google I thought this big companies are all professionals but HR or management skills are not too professional. My co-workers were from around the world which was very unique and wonderful - to hear and learn all these languages and cultures!

I really enjoyed my job in general, particular I liked to work for my domains maintenance and policy and to set standards and change the world.

Hard is/was that everybody has to leave after 2 years due to the contract situation which is exact the right time when usually the whole project becomes very familiar and knowledge and understanding as well as networking is very deep.
Pros
Wonderful perks - lunch, snacks, bikes, nice campus, buses, activities
Cons
2 year contract
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Creative, innovative, fun and comfortable place to work
Partner Development Executive (Current Employee) –  New York, NYOctober 10, 2013
Google has been the best working experience I've had by far. Every day I'm surrounded by motivated, intelligent and fun-loving people who together create a momentous atmosphere of goal-driven innovation, and creativity. During my time here, I've learned many new skills which helped drive our business in a variety of ways. It's definitely not a 9-5 job, and there are quarterly crunches to tackle in an ever-changing industry which are some of the hardest parts of the job. However what I've enjoyed most is the opportunity to work with such incredibly smart, hard working and collaborative people, as well as the ability to gain skill sets in areas both relevant to my job, and beyond.
Pros
free lunches, awesome benefits, lots of micro kitchens, comfortable work place
Cons
non-competitive salaries, long hours
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Test market an amazing experience
Portland Business Specialist (Former Employee) –  Portland, ORJanuary 30, 2013
I was working for a company called V.S. Advertising selling DirecTV. The parent company, Smart Circle, signed a contract with Google to do a test market for a new product Google wanted to unveil called Google HotPot.

Out of all the reps nationwide I was one of 3 that was chosen to work for Google.

The market was originally supposed to be 3 weeks long, and then turned into a 2 month test. The sales/marketing team I was a part of met and surpassed out goals, but it seemed the accounting gurus at Google decided the program wasn't financially feasible.

Google was an amazing company to work for, and relied on the reps to design and implement our end of the campaign. We were given our goals and a deadline and told to get it done. There was little to no guidance from above, as it was the first time Google has ever done a face to face marketing campaign.
Pros
the people, the pay, the job, the management
Cons
i'm not still doing it.
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Fun environment, great perks
Administrative Assistant (Former Employee) –  Mountain View, CAOctober 26, 2012
This was a five month contract position. My day started at 6am and was working till 9pm. I learned google mail, learned to use the internal google applications. From managing calendars, expenses, planning meeting, booking conference rooms was all done on google apps, which was completely different from using ms outlook, ms office products. There was a challenging part of the job at first and that was learning the google product, since I never received an administrative assistant training and orientation in the beginning as everyone does, I didn't know what the expectations were but I held my own and learned very quickly in the first 3 weeks. The most enjoyable part of working at google was planning Thursday's social event every week. I met some really smart and nice people at google.
Pros
free lunches, massages, social events
Cons
long working hours
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Great learning environment with motivated coworkers
Customer Support Engineer (Former Employee) –  Mountain View, CASeptember 16, 2014
My typical day at work would involve logging into Sales Force, Pycis and Cases. I'd review customer emails to obtain information on the customers issue. I then would need to go over the customers information to take the proper steps to resolve issue. I'd respond to customer via email with the confirmation of resolution, or ask for more information to proceed to resolve issue. The most enjoyable part of working there was the atmosphere. They created a fun and enjoyable environment that encouraged positive attitude and constant production. Management was very supportive and informative, which promoted a great learning environment. What was difficult about my job was that the availability for promotion in the company was extremely limited. There has to be self motivation to keep a positive view for remaining at the company long term.
Pros
free lunches, and fun enviroment
Cons
minimal promotion opportunities
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Play hard and Work harder
Diversity Technical Infrastructure Sourcer (Former Employee) –  Mountain View, CAFebruary 27, 2014
I loved working for Google and my job; however, if you are a contractor you definitely get the lower end of the stick. The culture is none like no other on the outside - work from home, flexible schedules, food galore, games, gym, etc. However, management is very corporate and they still play the favoritism games, etc. It is very easy for someone to get caught up with the physical culture and the benefits of working for Google and overlook the fact that they are still strongly corporate behind closed doors. They do not train you at all so if you work for Google you already know what you are doing and you should be able to sit down and get to work.
Pros
27 different free restaurants, free buses (contractors pay $1.50 each way), the list goes on
Cons
they are more corporate than they claim and the work is very hard
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The Google HR MAchine
Technical Sourcer (Former Employee) –  Mountainview, CAAugust 30, 2011
I worked in the Google HR team so I can really only speak about that group. Google hires lots contractors for their HR function, and they know how to onboard them quickly and easily. With all the benefits, and amenities at their work sites I rank them as a top place to work.

They have a ton of really smart people there and no matter your role, you will learn stuff from the people around you. For this reason alone, it is a great place to work. The down side is the work/life balance. Google pushes a ton of work onto your plate and they mange to complete it. Plan on eating at work at least 4 nights a week to finish your work.

But hey, on the upside the meals are gourmet and they are free.
Pros
fun environment, can drink at work, free food
Cons
work/life balance, imature employees/culture
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Overall rating

4.4
Based on 649 reviews
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