When it comes to the perks of the job, Google is certainly in the running for being one of the best companies to work for.
Employees at the Silicon Valley giant enjoy extensive gym facilities, a hairdressers and the services of a campus doctor.
And for some individuals the on-site benefits are so good that they don’t leave for weeks.
According to a Quora thread identified by Business Insider, it is not unheard of for Google employees to temporarily live at the business’ headquarters, with one unidentified man reportedly setting up camp for two to three years.
One user posted: “There was this one guy that had a camper parked in the parking lot near Crittenden and the story was that he slept in the camper and then did everything else in the office.
“The guy lived in the camper for 2-3 years. Showered at the gym. Did his laundry on campus. Ate every meal on campus he could. After the 2-3 years, he had saved up enough money to buy a house. It was simply brilliant!”
Google Glass: Everything you need to know
Google Glass: Everything you need to know
Think of Glass as having a smartphone on your face. You control it either using voice commands (eg, 'Okay Glass, directions to British Museum') or the touch panel on the right arm (eg, swipe down to go back in any menu). It can shoot video and photos without connecting to the internet but you need to connect to the web via a smartphone or Wi-Fi to use apps (dubbed 'Glassware). Google hopes it's the future (ie you'll be using Google all the time), others think it's just too geeky or creepy to ever take off.
Glass is about as powerful as a mid-range smartphone with 1GB of RAM and 16GB of memory slotted into the right arm of the frame. The prism-style screen has a resolution of 640 by 360 and sound is conveyed either by a bone conduction speaker (using vibrations into your skull) or using an earphone. The camera has a five-megapixel resolution and can shoot video at 720p. There's also a proximity sensor to turn it on automatically when picked up. Engineers have estimated that the innards cost around £100 with Google's R&D accounting for the rest of the cost.
3/6 Glass in the UK
Anyone in the UK over 18 and with £1000 burning a hole in their pocket can buy Glass. It's available online or through Google's London 'Basecamp' - essentially a fitting station to give you an introduction to the technology (that's the LA one on the left, expect London's to be less sunny). Glass has launched with five apps (known as 'Glasware' in the UK) including a running 'audio game', a star map and a news app from The Guardian.
The location of Glass's screen in the top right of users' vision has led to complaints of headaches. Experts say that the display is in one of the least comfortable areas of humans' field of vision (early prototypes put the screen directly in front of the ye but was too obstructive), although Google says that its only a problem for a small number of users: “Glass is designed for micro-interactions, not for staring into the screen, watching Friday night movie marathons or reading War and Peace.”
Google has been keen to market Glass as a fashionable product, placing the device on catwalks and between the covers of Vogue. The company has partnered with Luxottica (owner of the Ray-Ban brand) as well as designer Diane von Fürstenberg to make special frames. Google's own designs are known as the Titanium Series (left) with perscription lenses costing extra. However, this association with the catwalk has done nothing to shake the criticism that Glass - and its price tag - are elitist.
6/6 Using Glass
Google has partnered with everyone from doctors to engineers to show how Glass can be useful - essentially by helping people in high-pressure professions who need hands-free access to information on the spot. However, this isn't an argument for Glass becoming a consumer product. Advocates of Glass say that it takes away a layer between technology and peoples' lives - and while this may be useful some of the time it's hardly a killer application. Besides, having to make a conscious decision to look at our smartphones may actually help us look at them less. If there's no separation between reality and tech, why would ever put the latter away?
Technically, Google employees are not supposed to live at the office, but there are apparently ways of getting around the rule.
Former Googler Brandon Oxendine said he lived on-site for three months in 2012, sleeping on an IKEA mattress in the back of his blacked-out Volvo station wagon.
And Ben Discoe said his 13 month residency between 2012 and 2013 was overlooked by security personnel. “It is very likely technically in violation of some obscure code or city ordinance," he said.
"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, they never came by again."
It is unclear how many people have followed in the footsteps of Oxendine and Discoe but, tellingly, one anonymous user wrote this week: “I've been living on the Google campus since December 2011. Still live and work there today.”
It’s certainly an original take on work-life balance.Reuse content