Fortune just placed Google atop its 100 Best Companies to Work For list, and it's not hard to imagine why:
Employees rave about their mission, the culture, and the famous perks of the Plex: bocce courts, a bowling alley, eyebrow shaping (for a fee) in the New York office.
Bocce and bowling? This sounds like Richie Rich's treehouse. Though the perky perks might grab your attention -- free massages, plush chairs, free smiles -- Mercury News says there's a lot more feel-good stuff afoot. More then hedonism. Employees at Google actually meet, know, and talk to one another! Sort of like the opposite of Apple, which sounds like working in a dystopian sci-fi boot factory.
Google treats employees as the owners of the company...it has an ethic of corporate transparency that allows rank and file workers to question and expect honest answers from their superiors -- even CEO Larry Page, at the company's weekly "TGIF" all-hands meetings -- and that the company tries to empower employees to feel that everyone can have an impact, both internally, and in the larger world.
Can you imagine that happening at Apple? Yes, only if it were followed by the genial employees in question being abducted and sent to a Siberian Apple rendition site.
So we know which group is happier, on the face of it -- but are the happier people making better products? That's the question we should really care about, because at the end of the day, both companies' employees are rich and working of their own volition. [Mercury News]