14 Pros and Cons of Working at Google

Google

Google is continuously ranked as one of the best companies to work for in the world.

It’s clear, that Google offers its employees excellent benefits, pay, and other perks, as you would expect from any modern technology company.

However, does this mean Google is the perfect place to work for everyone?

Like any company, there are pros and cons to working for them.

If you are considering searching for a job at Google, it is important to understand the positives and negatives before applying.

Keep reading to learn more!

Pros of Working at Google

Google has countless advantages for employees, which is why it is considered one of the best places to work in the world.

These pros include:

1. Amazing Perks

In addition to the great salaries and other exceptional perks, Google employees have access to three free gourmet meals each day.

All eateries are specifically decorated with designer furniture and styles.

Employees can eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner (when working late) in one of the many Google cafeterias for free.

Additionally, coffee and juice bars are located throughout the various campuses to help give the hardworking staff a break from their computer screens.

2. Bring Your Pet to Work

Most Google offices are animal-friendly, so feel free to bring your pet in for support.

The most interesting example of this is the California location uses goats to keep lawns and green spaces neatly grazed.

Other offices encourage staff to bring dogs to work, which is a tactic to improve morale and overall wellbeing within the office.

3. Dogfooding is a Thing

Dogfooding is the idea of internally sharing new developments, innovations, and technologies with other departments and developers of other projects before releasing them into the industry.

In addition to giving developers a well-defined development roadmap, it provides other staff members with the ability to provide input when creating new products and services.

This type of cross-functional communication can be an excellent attribute to improving efficiency and learning.

4. Excellent Salaries

Software engineers are the best-paid employees in the company, with a standard salary of around $103,000 per year.

Software engineering interns are some of the best paid in the industry with a salary of $82,000, which can blast upwards to $139,000 per year when employees reach the Senior Software Engineer level.

5. Health and Wellness Opportunities

Google is highly focused on keeping employees physically and mentally healthy.

As a result, one of Google’s top employee perks is having on-site fitness facilities.

Almost every office in their portfolio offers fitness options with swimming pools, equipment, and fitness classes.

For those that do not have this amazing feature, the company pays for employee gym memberships!

This is an excellent method of keeping teams motivated since working out proves to relieve stress.

It also gives employees the flexibility to work out during the times that best suit them.

In addition to the excellent fitness perks, Google also focuses on mental well-being through employee assistance programs.

Given that Google is in the tech sector, they also give employees access to mental health apps.

These resources prove that the company is heavily focused on its employees.

These initiatives are excellent incentives for prospective employees, especially since wellness is more relevant than ever.

6. Pushbikes are Available 

At the Mountain View headquarters, pushbikes are available across the campus to allow employees to quickly get around in an eco-friendly and efficient manner, instead of driving to different buildings.

This also provides a second layer of benefits related to health. Riding a pushbike helps to burn significantly more calories than driving through this low-impact exercise option.

It also allows Googlers to enjoy the beautiful and comfortable Northern California weather.

7. Team of Doctors on the Payroll

In addition to the wonderful benefits and salary, Google has a team of experienced medical staff on their payroll who work to keep employees happy and healthy, so trying to take a fake sick day may not be that easy!

Employees also enjoy the perk of having health coverage and travel insurance for all family members.

Cons of Working at Google

While the pros of being a Google employee may seem amazing, consider the following cons before you start jumping up and down with excitement!

1. Brutal Competition

Given that Google is such a wonderful place to work, thousands of resumes are received every day.

Due to the size and grip, Google has on society, it can afford to choose the best and brightest in each department, which results in a cut-throat competitive environment.

However, whenever you work with incredible talent, brutal competition is inevitable, so it is important to develop beyond the skills required for the position to beat the competition.

2. Highly Proprietary Systems

As a Google developer, you are expected to utilize specific proprietary toolsets and systems.

While this technology is highly efficient and specialized, any tools used in school or previous work experience are obsolete.

Furthermore, when you move from Google to another employer, you could have challenges adjusting back to more standardized development tools.

Learning proprietary systems is helpful for a specific company and role, but it may not translate elsewhere.

3. Minimal Supervision 

Minimal supervision is a double-edged sword.

While this presents a large amount of freedom and flexibility without having a boss breathing down your neck, some need a more structured environment with superiors checking in on deliverable milestones.

Also, not every employee has the discipline to be self-reliant or requires initial guidance to begin projects.

4. Only Launches Drive Advancement

Google is well-known for promoting internal staff based on successful product launches instead of incremental improvements.

While most software developers participate in coding improvements and efficiency, and bug fixing, the overall incentive scheme does not take that into account.

Therefore, you could be excellent at improvements and debugging, but the focus is solely on new launches.

5. Questionable Work-Life Balance

Many American companies have created a corporate culture of lingering around at work.

Young, new, and ambitious talent often hang out in the office after core business hours learning or working.

This often results in peer pressure to spend a significant amount of time in the office, without personal time to decompress.

Google even has sleep pods to provide employees with power nap opportunities to keep them productive.

Spending this much time at the office is not healthy and can leave to burnout!

6. Remote Projects End Up at Headquarters

Another major downside reported by Google employees is that remote development projects are regularly moved to the Mountain View headquarters once they reach a certain point in the process.

If you are one of the lucky few to be able to work at headquarters, then you can more easily move up the ranks due to visibility with senior management and working on these inherited projects.

All the arduous work from the remote teams is less noticed since the project is handed off to the physical teams.

7. Self-Driven Learning

The Google expectation is that you will actively expand your knowledge and educate yourself as an employee.

That means you must commit to self-improvement and expanding your skills while completing important projects for the company.

Many may view this as a personal time imposition, but it’s common in many large corporations, especially in a constantly changing work, technology-driven work environment.

Countless companies have adopted a similar culture and viewpoint.

Pros and Cons of Working at Google – Summary Table

Pros of Working at GoogleCons of Working at Google
1. Amazing Perks1. Brutal Competition
2. Bring Your Pet to Work2. Highly Proprietary Systems
3. Dogfooding is a Thing3. Minimal Supervision 
4. Excellent Salaries4. Only Launches Drive Advancement
5. Health and Wellness Opportunities5. Questionable Work-Life Balance
6. Pushbikes are Available 6. Remote Projects End Up at Headquarters
7. Team of Doctors on the Payroll7. Self-Driven Learning

Should You Work at Google?

The decision to work at Google may not be your choice due to one major con listed above: brutal competition.

With thousands of applications received each month, the company only accepts the best of the best, but rewards them with an incredible working environment, if you can get in.

Being accepted into the Mountain View location is even more difficult than getting into one of the company’s satellite offices or remote projects teams.

If you are invited to join the crew, you have access to an incredible number of benefits.

One of the key issues is benefits like three meals per day and nap pods promoting spending more time at the office than at your home.

Therefore, it depends on the type of career path you want.

If a flexible, minimally-supervised company that expects results sounds like it works with your personality and goals, then Google may be the right fit.

However, if you need a more structured environment with defined project milestones and reviews, then another tech company may be in your best interest.

Jamie Willis