Blogs » Business Notebook » Is your workplace this cool? A look inside Google


Workplaces always seem so much cooler in the movies. A basketball net on the rooftop employee lounge, a community pool table, free sample closets which allow workers unlimited access to the makeup, clothing and whatnot XYZ Company specializes in.

And, yes, I like where I work. The people are great (and we even have ping pong!) But I've never found anything that compares to silver screen portrayals.

Well, until Thursday, when I stumbled across an article about Google.

All I can say is ... wow.

You're greeted by a climbing wall when you enter the office. Lunch is free at company cafes. There's a tiki bar for after-hours cocktails.

Need I continue? No. But I will.

Free bikes and scooters come into the mix, as well as guest speakers. No, not the motivational speakers a la Chris Farley's character on SNL. Big names like Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift.

The thinking behind perks such as the cafes, is that a lunchtime conversation could lead to the next big innovation, said Christopher Dale, with the company.

Time created a photo essay to give people a look inside Google.

But it isn't all about the company, all the time. Especially on weekends. As the article states: Despite making work a place you’d seemingly never want to leave, Dale says there’s a big emphasis on "work/life balance." On weekends, his boss believes in turning off the cellphone and emails, unless it’s an emergency. "Weekends are for spending with your family," says Dale, a married father of two kids who hops the free Google shuttle van from San Francisco each morning.

Sounds like a good balance to me. What about you guys? Are there any out-of-the-ordinary workplaces here in the Crossroads I don't know about? Who knows? That could make a great business story one of these days.