ball pit

Did you know that a whopping two million people apply to work for Google every year? In fact, it’s easier to get into Oxford or Cambridge University than it is to get a job with the search engine giant. Crowned ‘the happiest company in America’ (take that, Disney), what about it is so good and why does everyone that works there seem to be so happy?

People talk about the work/life balance being good, bosses being lovely, co-workers being great, lots of opportunity for growth and lots of self-guided work which all in all makes for a very happy team over at Google HQ.

Let’s break it down.

Salaries – Google pays for the best, and the best want paying the most.

No evil – With their motto ‘Don’t Be Evil’, it’s much nicer to work for an ethical company than some of the less salubrious brands out there.

Caring company – Google looks after their employee’s welfare.

Creativity – Google insists on its employees spending up to 20% of their time working on their own special projects. This is where some of their best ideas have come from, so it pays off.

Being heard – Employees suggestions are taken seriously by Google. If they prove popular on the Google-o-meter, then they’re used.

The food – The way to an employee’s heart is through their stomach apparently, as they get fabulous food options from the many cafes on the Google campus.

Benefits – If you are unlucky enough to die one you’ve landed your job there, your spouse will receive 50% of your pay packet for the next decade.

LGBT – In the US, same sex spouses face additional costs when it comes to health benefits. Google shoulders this burden of an extra $1000 in costs each year – because love shouldn’t cost more, right?

Bowling – There’s an employee bowling alley. This one would be the perk for me. I love bowling. That’d be my special project, getting the perfect 300 game.

It can’t all be good, right?

No remote working – if you’re the type to work from home when you can, forget it. You need to be on campus if you want to work for Google.

Temps – Lucky enough to get hired as a temp? Don’t expect the same perks; in fact you may be treated with disdain for not being ‘real’ Google material.

Middle management issues – Middle managers don’t want to rock the boat, relying on the brand to inspire the workforce.

Still sounds better than getting up at 6.30am to trek to the office in the rain in gloomy Yorkshire…

So what does it take to get a job there?

It’s like running a marathon. Applicants can expect five interviews over the course of a month and a half. Once there were complex brainteasers and off the cuff weird questions but Google has realised there’s more to a good team member than oddness and smart answers.