Google is to job seekers is as Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory is to…well…anybody. Perks out the wazzoo and a work environment bordering on utopia have made many wish they could be Oompa Loompas for the Web giant. But even Google can’t avoid the effects of the U.S. economic recession, and it seems that the chocolate won’t be flowing quite as freely as it once did.
But luckily for employees, Google has made it clear that the fun side of the company won’t be exiting stage left, according to the Wall Street Journal. Among other things, the company is renowned for feeding its employees free of charge from morning to night, funding personal trainers, winter vacations and throwing staff parties that rival those of paper company Dunder Mifflin in the NBC show The Office.
Employees have also been given unheard of amounts of freedom to work as they choose; software engineers have been encouraged to pursue pet projects and been given large support teams to develop new tools and programs at a whim. Google is beyond a doubt any employee’s ideal job.
But the times are causing Google to act cautiously. Though the company won’t be cutting back the fun factor, it does plan to start implementing more advertisements in its various free applications to keep the money bags full. Additionally, pet projects of designers will not be backed so openly and with such gusto. Google is planning on dropping many of its more experimental projects, such as SearchMash, and improving its current offerings and projects.
And Google’s doors will no longer be open to every qualified applicant looking for a free meal ticket (literally). Google has announced plans to “significantly” reduce the size of its work force, and will be looking to only hire those that specifically shine or are qualified to fill a roll in a specific project.
Ultimately, Google is simply playing it safe and working to maintain its lavish practices until the economy starts seeing some sunshine. And who can fault them? Certainly not the employees. Users of Google’s many free services don’t have much room to gripe either, as a little more advertising would be expected of any other company. The only real tragedy is that workers in the New York office will have to bid adieu to afternoon tea…the horror!