Skip to main content

Visiting Google In London

As a person who manages his own websites and being dependent to large extent on what Google does in respect of its search engine algorithm, it was nice to be invited to attend a seminar on how to improve AdSense revenue. For a website builder it was like being invited to visit God! I have visited three times now and I'd like to briefly write about the experience as it might interest some people who would like to know what it is like inside Google's offices.
Complimentary gift that Google generously gave me.
This is a really nice Italian made note pad.

I'll tell you right away that it is not the kind of place I worked in all my working life. In fact, Google offices are startlingly different to the conventional office environment.

I have a lot of experience working in offices in England as a lawyer. I would have given my right arm to have had the opportunity to work for Google when I was younger. Google didn't exist when I was younger! But hypothetically speaking you get the message.

Offices

The Google office space in their London, Victoria offices and the ones near Tottenham Court Road are extremely pleasant work environments. The outside of the buildings are modern and you know that Google occupies the building as there are bright, modern Google colors outside. This is especially the case at the 1-13 St Giles High Street, London WC2H 8AG offices near Tottenham Court Road.  The Google street view image below shows the offices being built.


View Larger Map

There is a very relaxed feeling about the place. They don't seem like work places; more like a big club. There are canteen areas dotted around the building brimming with food and drink and what seem to be brainstorming areas in glass walled rooms. There is an open feeling.

The colour schemes are modern, bright, colourful and a bit funky. I guess the idea is to encourage employees to think out of the box and creatively.

One slightly unpleasant aspect of visiting Google that I experienced last time was "reception". In the Victoria, London offices nearest Victoria station there is what appears to be a large reception desk. I went up to it and announced my arrival for the seminar. This was not a reception desk, I discovered. The two women behind the very long counter were security only. They were unhelpful and simply said that I must know the name of the person who I was visiting before they would let me in. They could not ring up to the Google offices. They had no means to do that. They were a complete brick wall. I was about to go home when one of them mentioned that there were other offices down the road. I figured I was in the wrong place but the general mood at the massive entrance hall was cool, unwelcoming and unhelpful. This problem of visiting the wrong office (the other one being near by) must have happened before and you would have thought the people at the counter would have been trained to deal with it pleasantly.

There was another security guard near the lifts. I presume that this office building did not receive Joe Public but only Mr Businessman.
Another generous Google gift. Thank you Google.
Culture and Employees

All the employees that I met and saw were young and there were lots of females. I don't know if the people that I met were a representative group but young/female would describe them. Perhaps women are more often employed in communicating with the public - people like me. They were international ladies; women whose first language was not English. They were multilingual. I use the word "lady" deliberately. They were nice intelligent people. That gives a clue as to the type of employee Google seeks.

On the downside, I really feel that Google has become a bit flabby in its culture and mentality. I think this is because of the large profits that roll in without the usual effort (in my opinion) and they are a monopoly almost.

Without wishing to be over critical, the time keeping and organisation by Google employees was not first class and neither were the presentations. And I expected first class from a company that produces first class free software (usually). You wonder how hard they were trying.

I enjoyed my visits and I thank Google for inviting me. However, I think Google should tighten up a bit and put a bit of rigour back into their workplace. It has got too easy at Google. It is not the real working world. Not from my perspective in any case.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Cat Ear Mites

Brown gunge. Yes, I know this is a ferret! It does show the build up of dark brown to black ear wax caused by the presence of the cat ear mites in the outer ear canal. This parasite is not restricted to the domestic cat, which makes this photo valid and a useful illustration (I was unable to find a suitable photo of a cat with the condition). Photo Stacy Lynn Baum under a creative commons license. Ear mites (minute crab like creatures) are one of the causes of inflammation of the outer ear canal (scientific term for this inflammation is Otitis externa ). The outer ear canal is the tube that runs from outside to the ear drum (the pathway for the reception of sound), which can be seen when looking at the ear. Otitis externa affects humans and often swimmers as it is called "swimmer's ear" in humans. This YouTube video show ear mites under a microscope. They are not actually in the ear in this video. There are many possible causes of Otitis externa in c

Feline Mange

I'll write about three types of feline mange (a) feline scabies or head mange (b) demodectic mange and (c) sarcoptic mange. The source material is from Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook - the best on the market . Generalised feline mange? Puerto Rico - Photo by Gotham City Lost And Found Feline Scabies - head mange Head mange or feline scabies, is a fairly rare condition in cats, which is caused by the Notoedres mite (head mite) that only reproduces on cats. The female mites burrow a few millimeters (that is a lot) into the skin around the head, and neck to lay eggs, which hatch and lay their own eggs. Their presence and activities causes intense itching that in turn causes the cat to scratch. The scratching will obviously be noticed and it will cause the skin to become red, scratched and worse infected. Symptoms: hair loss and scabs, thick wrinkled skin and grey/yellow crusts form plus the symptoms of scratching. Feline mange (head mange) is contagious and tr

Cat Anatomy

Cat Anatomy - Photo by Curious Expeditions . The picture above was taken at Wax Anatomical Models at La Specola in Florence, Italy. The photograph is published under a creative commons license kindly granted by the photographer. I am sorry if it is a bit gruesome. It is pretty well all I could find as an illustration that was licensed for publication. Cat Anatomy is a very wide ranging subject. The anatomy of a cat is very similar to human anatomy. If you were writing a biology book for students of biology you would go through every part of the a cat's anatomy in some detail. It would be similar to writing a book about the human anatomy. It would be a thick book and pretty boring for your average internet surfer. So, how do you limit such a big subject and make this post meaningful? The answer I think lies in doing two things: Having a quick general look at cat anatomy - an overview and; Focusing on the areas of cat anatomy that are particular to the cat and of parti