Google culture revolves around our mission: to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Googlers are proud of this mission and work to better serve our users each and every day. Googlers are passionate and dedicated individuals who really want to make a difference in the world. When you give smart people space to innovate, you unleash the power of imagination, ideas and connectivity to change the world for the better. This ethos embodies the essence of Google culture.
Despite our size and expansion, Google still maintains a start-up culture. Google is not a conventional corporation, and our workdays are not the typical 9 to 5. Our work is project-based, meaning that Googlers focus on specific projects and goals every quarter. If you happen to be hitting your project out of the park, then you might feel the need to come in to work a bit later the next day! There would be no retribution - Googlers are passionate and self-motivated, and Google trusts them to make responsible decisions.
Transparency and Openness
Googlers live and breathe a culture of openness. Our commitment to innovation depends on everyone being comfortable sharing ideas and opinions. The ability to challenge or discuss a company decision is never more than an open door, whiteboard, email, hallway or microphone away. We highly value rigorous debate, and value all Googlers’ input in company decisions. One example is our weekly company all-hands meeting - known as TGIF - where Googlers can ask their questions directly to Larry Page and Sergey Brin from an open mic. Googlers also have the opportunity to develop 20% Projects, where they take 20% of their work time to work on projects that they’re personally passionate about. There are many examples of 20% projects that lead to meaningful impact on the company, such as Gmail.
Personal and Professional Development
Part of our culture is to encourage an atmosphere that fosters Googlers’ personal and professional development. We offer multiple opportunities for growth through our Learning@Google initiatives, including our g2g (Googler to Googler) courses, where Googlers have both the opportunity to learn and impart their personal expertise by leading a course. From project management courses to presentation skills series to computer programming classes to our language programs, your opportunity for development at Google is limited only by your own initiative.
Fun is big part of Google culture. We consider each other not just colleagues, but friends and family, too. We play on Google sports teams together, have happy hours and throw each other birthday parties, baby showers and engagement celebrations - we like spending time together and we have fun and celebrate successes in many different ways.
Our offices have all sorts of on-site entertainment, from pool tables to ping pong to bowling alleys to Mortal Kombat to Dance Dance Revolution dance-offs. Many Googlers love outdoor activities and fitness, so in addition to our on-site gyms, we also have multiple sports, races, and competitions. Sports leagues include volleyball, basketball, Ultimate Frisbee, flag football, kickball and dodgeball. Many Googlers also participate in our intramural sports program, playing everything from basketball to soft ball to inner-tube water polo.
When the physical activity is over, Googlers need to recharge. We love to eat, and our amazing Culinary team creates a multitude of events and delicacies for our enjoyment. Recently, the team introduced “Snack Attack” trucks that travel all over campus bringing surprise breakfasts, desserts, beverages and more. Our chefs also prepare gourmet finger foods for our weekly TGIF company all-hands meeting.
Googlers enjoy visits from artists, authors, performers, politicians and celebrities who drop by throughout the year. Lady Gaga came to our Mountain View campus this spring, and Tina Fey sat down with our Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, to talk about her recent book and signed 200 copies for the audience. We’ve rocked out to performances from Duran Duran, Lenny Kravitz, Keith Urban and participated in Q&A sessions with the Barefoot Contessa, Teach For America founder Wendy Kopp, Car Czar Steven Rattner and Adam Savage of The Mythbusters. @Google Talks are more than just fun, they allow Googlers to engage in a dialogue with performers and get fresh perspectives that keep our brains learning, growing and thinking.
At Google, we firmly believe that you can be serious without a suit, and we don’t take ourselves too seriously to begin with. We go all out for holiday celebrations, and Halloween at Google is not just for kids. Almost all Googlers (and their dogs) dress up in costumes for our annual Googleween bash. You’ll find more evidence of that laid back attitude scattered throughout our offices. Whether you’re bicycling past Stan - a life-size T-rex skeleton replica - or riding a slide from the third floor to the first, fun is an integral part of Google culture.
An integral part of Google culture is the idea that Googlers can make a difference. Every year, our GoogleServe initiative holds a weeklong series of volunteering where Googlers serve their surrounding communities. Thousands of Googlers lend their time and expertise to participate in our Volunteer@Google programs all over the world. To solidify our commitment to social responsibility and making a difference, we have established a gift-matching program where we pledge to match up to $12,000 of eligible Googlers’ donations to non-profit organizations.
Bolstering employee contributions to worthy causes with matching gifts doesn't just mean helping hundreds of organizations, both locally and globally; it’s also a tangible expression. We want Googlers to get involved – and the company is right behind you. Although, it doesn’t take much to get Googlers involved. Time and time again, Googlers have demonstrated a bias toward action. In the aftermath of the terrible 2011 Japanese earthquake, Googlers developed Person Finder within an hour, helping to reunite hundreds of loved ones. During the unrest in Egypt in the winter of 2011, Googlers worked over the weekend in a partnership with Twitter to produce a service where anyone could tweet by leaving a voicemail on a designated phone number. These are examples where Googlers have risen to the occasion by using their technological knowledge and skills in support of key values like freedom of expression, and the overall greater good.