Britons aren’t alone in being totally sold on Google’s HQ. Check out the reaction of people from San Fransisco to Taos.
I’m staying in London, so I can report back to San Fransisco from my local hotel to tell you about why Google is not only the most fantastic place to work in the world, but also has a definable purpose.I love it. It’s completely and utterly awesome.
By which I mean I am more in love with the place now than I have ever been, even when the Kardashian sisters were living there, making stupid phones, and for an extended period when it was Kanye West’s retreat.
Of course, Google isn’t just any old building. That’s why I literally can’t stop talking about it. As I write it up, my concentration is being seriously compromised by the thought of the internal elevator shafts flinging me into space, adrift. And not only that, but there’s always the chance I’ll be crushed by a fat elephant from another building. And then there’s the time I got stuck in the main office building for five hours.
Mind you, I am a freelance journalist working for just £11 an hour. Which is much better than the part-time ‘non-work’ equivalent of that £11-an-hour, that’s right.
The short of it is that the place is fantastic, not least of all because it has a purpose (in addition to being such a secure and well-built building), making it both a place where you can do amazing things with the internet – from search engines and widgets, to life-changing apps – and a place where you can do some terrible, self-destructive, selfish, bone-crushing, house-breaking excesses with the internet.
And a place that everyone’s been obsessed with. The first time I was there, I thought I was the only person interested in it, but I wasn’t. We were all fascinated. There were Google fans everywhere. More than just being interested in it, they were totally obsessed with it. There were even some Googlers in the office, ready to talk about everything they do, in some detail, to anyone who would listen.
And it’s fascinating to them. For any time that they’re in the building – no matter how long – they have all this stuff to do, after taking an hour or two from their jobs, which are all pretty boring. Because, as it turns out, the people who work at Google don’t work at Google full-time. That’s for Google’s other employees. These were the ‘freelancers’, also known as Project Soli. And, when they wanted to, they could go home. But that wasn’t their style.
In the meantime, they would work from home while the big office buzzed all around them. They spend a lot of time in the building’s area reserved for the company’s ‘social’ activities. These included volleyball, table tennis, yoga, meditation, ‘coffee mugs painting’ and, most frequently, triathlons. While I’m outside …
We’ve also found out, thanks to Gizmodo writer Sherry Min that it is also possible to work while having sex – in fact, it isn’t unusual, according to her sources. But if you’re going to do that, you’d better take a nap every now and then.
And not only are Google’s employees all obsessed with it, they’re super jealous of its success. For example, they’re also obsessed with the fact that Google is the most successful company in the history of mankind. And the fact that Google won $950 million (£590 million) in damages in a patent-infringement case against Apple last month, a win that was all but unanimously overturned in the US Supreme Court, means that the answer is, of course, yes, it is the most successful company in the history of mankind.
When you think about it, £590 million – a figure that equals just 2 percent of the British government’s annual budget – is easily more than any company in the history of mankind has ever won. That’s one of the reasons why I love it.
It’s, in a word, bonkers.
According to Vice’s 50 Most Creative People in America list (out today), Google also occupies the top spot. And nobody knows who’s boss, apart from their co-founder, Sergey Br