Saturday 17 March 2018

Google employees reveal the worst things about working for the tech giant

Google's Dublin HQ
Google's Dublin HQ

Lucy Kinder

Current and former Google employees have been posting their pet peeves on sharing site Quora, Business Insider reports.

According to an anonymous user, one of the major downsides about working for the tech giant is that many people are overqualified for their jobs.

They write: "Google has a very high hiring bar due to the strength of the brand name, the pay and perks, and the very positive work culture. As a result, they have their pick of bright candidates, even for the most low-level roles."

As a result, the user says, it is hard to get promoted quickly and the work is not always intellectually rewarding which results in some Google workers losing their drive.

They add: "There are students from top 10 colleges who are providing tech support for Google's ads products, or manually taking down flagged content from YouTube, or writing basic code to A|B test the colour of a button on a site."

Another anonymous ex-Google employee who worked at the company for three years writes: "The impact I could ever have on the business as an individual was minimal."

According to one ex-employee Google's executives are not good enough at managing their employees: "the relentless daily mediocre thinking of middle management types who are completely focused on metrics to the exclusion of all other factors.

"They don't want to rock the boat, they don't know how to inspire their workforce, and they rely far too much on the Google name and reputation to do that for them."

Another user reiterates: "Google makes lots of vague promises, and seems to not deliver."

A former Google engineer complained that there was too much focus on pure engineering at the expense of product design. They write: "There is not enough focus on product and visual design. This has led to many aborted/semi-successful products, like Wave, Google Video, Buzz, Dodgeball, Orkut, Knol, and Friend Connect."

The former employee also said that promotions to senior levels at Google are "still based on politics".

While Google is renowned for offering perks for its workers, like free meals, some employees criticised the culture.

One former Google employee said that those working at the company would often get caught up in minor details. They wrote:

"In Zurich there is a quiet room where people go to relax, or take a nap ...

There was a 100+ emails thread about removing the massage chairs from that room because some people allegedly were being kept from sleeping because the massage chairs were too noisy.

Former Google product designer Anne Halsall said that an abundance of play areas mean that staff at Google are not given much personal space.

She writes: "if you have to work in one of the four main campus buildings, you will most likely be extremely cramped. It's not uncommon to see 3-4 employees in a single cube, or several managers sharing an office.

With all the open areas for food, games, TV, tech talks, etc, it can be surprisingly hard to find a quiet, private place to think. "

A Google employee who worked there for seven years said that Google employees thought of themselves as so outstanding, they joked about it:

"I often say Google has a great problem: Too many outstanding people.

For example, when I left, my direct reports were outstanding, my boss was outstanding, my peers were outstanding, my boss's boss was outstanding, my boss' peers were outstanding."

It is not clear which offices the Google employees have worked in.

Earlier this year Google was voted the best company to work for by Fortune magazine for the fourth year in a row. In 2012 it subsidised 100,000 hours of massages for its employees.

Its headquarters in Mountain View, California has three wellness centres and a seven-acre sports complex, which includes a roller hockey rink and basketball courts.

Google declined to comment.

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