Day 3: Googled Our Way to Google

This morning, after going down the cardiac hill, to Brad’s office, then on our 3rd public bus ride together, we reached the doors of Google in Bakery Square. Before going, I was very enthusiastic to go because I was curious as to how a tech company thrives and works in the economy. The tour was very interesting, to say the least. The office did not feel like a regular office space. One aspect that I found instantly was how individualistic and casual everyone was dressed. Not only appearance but as we walked around, the desks, the office rooms, and the office floor themes were very unique to the workers and to Pittsburgh. For example, one floor, all rooms were named after Kennywood rides. Even though they put extreme value on individualism and bring your true self to work, they also emphasized team work and inclusiveness. The employees called themselves “Googlers.” I do find this unusual but rather interesting that every individual is addressed the same way. I say this because in every other office, there is an understanding of hierarchy. So, the fact that someone with relatively higher authority is can be seen as the same as a “new-gler (someone just hired into Google)” is different for me. I definitely feel that Googlers are both the same and different from employees in other workplaces. Mike, our tour guide, told us that Googlers work in an environment with lots of freedom with deadlines, creativity with amenities such as chickens, Photo Booth, and massager. Google as a whole is very idea based and I instantly noticed that in their office because it was prevalent that people’s thoughts and opinions were valued in what they had. Mike also said that Google will provide workers with new project if they said they are bored of the one they are working on. The corporate culture of Google translates into the office by constantly giving Googlers to be innovative and free minded.

For me, a big name like Google seems a bit out of place in Pittsburgh since I’m from here and knew Pittsburgh before it became a business hub that it is now. However, Mike said that Google Pittsburgh engages with the community. For example, they support education by providing free WiFi in schools, work along side, or for organizations in the neighborhood, and support entrepreneurs. Their mission is organize information and make it universally available for anyone, anywhere. Because of this, I was not surprised that Google gives back to the community and supports education because they do want to help and grow users. This relates to the open systems hypothesis that even though they launch very raw and new ideas, their users are everywhere globally in which people exchange ideas consistently.

Google has many stakeholders and community is a main one. I think community engagement is something that any company in Pittsburgh takes value in. This relates to stakeholder management because Google is responding back to the community on its needs in a forward view.

Visiting Google was by far the most unique workplace visit I’ve been to but I’ve gained a new view of how and what kind of environment people work in and how that can be successful.