DFEi Students Visit Google Headquarters and Discover a Web of Intrigue!
Gemma Leigh, PJ5
On Tuesday 15th October, several classes from DFEi were lucky enough to attend a tour of Google’s Irish headquarters. The classes were invited for lunch in one of Google’s many cafes which all offer free, healthy and varied meals to employees at restaurant standard, i.e.: delish!
With full bellies, we made our way around the building assisted by Google employees. The Gordon House building is 13 stories tall. Each floor is themed differently but all coordinate with the ever-familiar Google colours. Each floor also has its own ‘mini’ kitchen (although each one of them is bigger than my kitchen!) with its own theme, from ‘upside down’ where the lights are on the floor and tables on the roof to a soda-lab where employees make their own minerals. Again the kitchens are stocked with both healthy and naughty snacks.
Our tour guide Therese, a project manager told us that ‘’food is very important at Google, you do put on a bit of weight working here!’’ This is probably the reason the building also houses a full gym and swimming pool to all employees with classes run throughout the day. Therese told us that ‘’Google look after their employees really well’’.
This is something that is also obvious in the design of the building’s office space. There are desks of course but, Google have also given ample workspaces to their employees in the form of office pods, beanbags, internet tablets that overtake entire walls and various cool spaces throughout to hide away and work. Meetings often take place in the kitchens, quirky office spaces or in the ‘’sitting rooms’’ dotted around. The outdoor terrace we visited even had many colourful swings!
More employee fun comes in the form of the weekly after-work drinks that are organised by Google. The cafes turn into bars, food and drink are supplied and often bands are called in to play. The company also holds bi-monthly workshops for staff usually revolving around food; cupcake making and the like.
Overall, the building gives the impression of a very laidback, fun place to work. However, Therese tells us multiple times throughout the tour ‘’we do work very hard!’’. She tells us that depending on which countries you work with ‘’you could be still here at 12am, 4am anytime’’, which is why she says ‘’Google wants it to feel like home because you spend so much time here’’.
However, when I question her on the downsides of working at Google she tells me ‘’I’d say it’s probably the one place to work that doesn’t have downsides, even though we work hard.’’ And her favourite part? ‘’It’s a very people-based job with people from lots of different nationalities, I love working with so many people!’’