Working at googleWe’ve read over and over again about all of the perks that come along with working at Google. Three free meals per day, exercise facilities, doctor and dental care on-site, money towards the purchase of a hybrid vehicle, and the list goes on and on. They’ve also had the honor of being named the #1 company to work for in 2007 by Fortune Magazine, but is it really THAT great?

It probably is, but it could also change depending on who you ask. If you’d like an insiders look at Google, here’s your chance to get a glimpse. An internal Microsoft email includes details of the experiences of a Microsoft employee who started out at Microsoft, quit to start his own start-up, got acquired by Google, and eventually left Google to go back to Microsoft.

You can read the email in its entirety here, I’m just going to point out a few interesting details. During the interview, he was asked several questions about the environment at Google. One of the first things that stood out for me is that while the perks sound great, the perks are needed because people spend so much time a day there working. The former Google employee explains how it’s much like a college campus in that all of your needs are taken care of, but that the younger employees in their mid 20’s don’t really have a life yet so they spend it all at work.

Remember the 20% that employees are supposed to get to work on a project every week? According to the former Google employee, you have to create that time in your schedule. If you don’t take it out, it doesn’t get used, and really, nobody notices. He says most people don’t even have a project, and managers don’t tend to remind you to start one.

Then he was asked if he had any advice for Microsoft that would “help in our battle for talent against Google.” His suggestion? Make all the food in the cafe’ free. Yep, that’s the only suggestion he had. Apparently Google knew what they were doing when they made this one of their perks. He explains that while Microsoft may not offer free food, they start at a higher salary. If Microsoft were to cut back on starting salaries and put that money towards the food of their employees, he thinks it could help them out.

So there ya have it, an “insiders” look at the real Google.

Source: I Started Something 

Read Entire Email here