by Lisa Grimaldi | June 01, 2007

Google’s California cafeteria
Employees eat
for free at
Google’s California

Google has long enjoyed an enviable reputation as the premier search engine on the web. Now, the Mountain View, Calif.-based firm’s 5,000-plus employees are themselves being envied for the myriad perks that recently landed Google the number-one spot on a list of the top 100 companies to work for, as compiled by the San Francisco-based Great Places to Work Institute at the behest of Fortune magazine.

The company was lauded for using a variety of incentives and benefits to attract and retain the best talent in a highly competitive field, including the following.

* On-site medical and dental facilities;

* Free meals at the 11 gourmet restaurants on company property;

* 27 paid days off after one year of employment;

* Up to $8,000 a year in tuition reimbursement;

* A “Global Education Leave” program that enables employees to take a leave of absence of up to five years to pursue further education, and reimburses up to $150,000 in associated expenses;

* A $500 take-out food credit for the first month employees have a new baby;

* On-site car washes and oil changes; and

* A $5,000 stipend toward the purchase of a hybrid car.

Additionally, Google offers yearly bonus programs based on company and individual performance, as well as an annual company-sponsored ski trip for employees.

“We recognize that Goog-lers have a wide variety of interests both inside and outside the firm, and we strive to design a benefits package that helps them balance their busy lives and allows them to focus on doing the things they really love to do,” says Sue Wuthrich, director of benefits for the company.

And to make sure the perks and incentives truly are motivating, staffers are surveyed often to measure the quality of the services provided, says Wuthrich.