Google's corporate campus might very well be one of the happiest places to work, with so many interesting employee perks it has been named the best company to work for by Fortune magazine.
In the relatively short span of nine years since Google was founded, the company has become legendary for pampering workers, sparing little expense to keep them happy. That partly explains why the company receives over 1,000 job applications per day, according to the Fortune report.
Outside of laundry and dry cleaning services, the company provides free gourmet food from 11 campus cafes, each serving different kinds of cuisine. Snack bars are stocked with an endless supply of free candy and soft drinks.
In fact, the goodies are so prevalent that new employees often fall victim to the "Google 15," a reference to the typical weight gain Nooglers (new Google employees) often experience in the first few months on the job. Perhaps to combat the potential gluttonous atmosphere, Google offers a swimming spa, on-site massage, and on-site doctors.
The latest Fortune ranking also indicates that technology and biotechnology firms are still at the forefront of employee perks. Nearly 30 percent of the top 50 firms ranked were either tech or biotech outfits.
Two-thirds of a company's score was based on employee comments about management, job satisfaction, and camaraderie, according to Fortune. The remainder was judged from company responses regarding demographic makeup, pay and benefits, management philosophy, and other factors.
Only companies that are at least seven years old and employ more than 1,000 workers can qualify to be considered for the Fortune list.
Bay Area Hotspot
Gentech, a San Francisco-based biotech company that topped last year's list, ranked second this year. In fact, the latest Fortune lists indicates the Bay Area is a hotspot for employee benefits, with six technology companies in the region landing in the top 50.
In addition to Google and Gentech, other Bay Area firms making the list include computer storage company Network Appliance at No. 6; computer networking giant Cisco Systems at No. 11; Software maker Adobe Systems at No. 31; accounting software company Intuit at No. 33; and Web portal Yahoo at No. 44.
One of Google's biggest rivals in the tech world, Microsoft, was ranked at No. 50. Microsoft is based in Redmond, Washington.
Sixteen companies on this year's list pay 100 percent of their employees' health-care premiums, while 32 offer an on-site child-care center.
Of the 100 companies, 82 allow employees to telecommute or work at home at least 20 percent of the time, and 22 companies on this year's list offer fully paid sabbaticals.
Never one to skimp when it comes to business, Microsoft provides free grocery delivery, valet parking, and a dollar-for-dollar match of employee charitable contributions up to $12,000.