Has Google lost its ‘’cool place to work’’ status?

Once seen as a shining example of the modern workplace, more clampdowns and controversy continue to blight the search engine’s workplace.
By: | November 28, 2019

Ask most people to name a cool place to work and Google will likely be their first answer. Not just because it pioneered chill-out areas and office perks like free snacks and drinks. It also has a perception of being a fun place to work, with an open culture and minimal rules. Developers slouching around all day on bean bags while sipping soy lattes is an image that springs to mind.

But this cool status is gradually starting to erode as Google becomes embroiled in more scandals involving its employees, and clamps down on freedoms in the workplace. Recently, staff have been warned about commenting on political issues, wasting time and now punished for being active in labour organizing.

On top of this, Google recently cancelled a regular series of company-wide meetings that would have allowed employees to ask questions to senior execs.

In the last 18 months, employees have also protested leadership’s handling of sexual harassment complaints and accused bosses of developing an internal surveillance tool that they believe will be used to monitor workers.

The tool would automatically report staffers who create a calendar event with more than 10 rooms or 100 participants.

This long list of complaints has caused growing tension between Google’s leadership team and its once-happy employees. According to the recent World’s Best Workplaces 2019 survey, Cisco was voted number one. Google didn’t even make the top 25.