Many companies offer perks to their employees, more so in Silicon Valley where the biggest technology corporations are housed. These benefits are there to keep employees happy and healthy while they work.
Google’s headquarters in California is just one of those companies. Employees get free haircuts, go to the gym, and play pool, among other things. The headquarters also offers laundry facilities and on-site medical staff. This just goes to show how comfortable working for Google is, though work can become stressful. Some employees have even taken these perks to the extreme by living in the Googleplex to avoid paying rent.
“They had three meals a day at the cafeteria and there were showers at the gym that were also on campus, so I would shower at the gym, eat at the office. There was a free Laundromat on campus, so I could wash my clothes.”
Though employees are not technically supposed to live on site, many got away with it by using their cars and the perks offered to them. Weaver said that this was back in 2005 when Google was a smaller company. He also said that security didn’t mind his presence once they figured out who he was.
“I’m pretty sure I was the first. Towards the end of those 54 weeks and the 2 or 3 years that followed people would come and ask me questions. They would be like, ‘I’m thinking about living on campus, do you have any advice?'”
A few former Google employees also shared their stories of living on campus in a thread on Quora, according to the Daily Mail.
Ben Discoe, a former Google programmer, said he purchased a conversion van and lived in there from October 2011 to November 2012. He opted to live out of a van, as he had to pay for his farm in Hawaii and had to pay alimony, leaving no budget to pay for the high-priced rent in the South Bay area. Discoe said that no one ever tried to make him leave during those 13 months.
“It is very likely technically in violation of some obscure code or city ordinance. Google Security came by very early on, but once they determined that the guy in the mysteriously parked white van was just an eccentric Googler and not the Unabomber, they never came by again.”
Discoe said that the only thing missing in Google was shampoo. He thought that when the stock price reaches $300, they would give out shampoo but that didn’t happen. “I believe it’s the equivalent of about $1,200 now, and there’s still no shampoo.”
Aside from free laundry and food, Google employees also have other perks such as usage of electric cars, bicycles, as well as massage chairs and sleep pods. It’s no wonder some Google employees want to call the Googleplex their permanent home. Google has not yet commented about the issue.
[Image via Matthew Weaver]