It seems that tensions between Google and its employees are coming to a head, CNN Business reports.
Employees have reported unhappiness at the way the tech giant handles some of its internal affairs, including sexual misconduct allegations, business with the military, and the recent implementation of a tool that monitors and reports employees who create “a calendar event with more than 10 rooms or 100 participants. Most recently, Google fired “several outspoken workers” for “allegedly violating its data-security policies;” the announcement was made internally late last month.
Employees have expressed concerns that the tech company is making efforts to punish critics and even potentially “intimidate workers,” CNN Business says.
Examining the “Public Imagination” of Google
The news of friction between Google and its employees is shocking, especially since the tech company has been painted as the ideal place to work for years. For example, Google has been praised and known for its “enviable benefits,” such as free meals, office slides, onsite childcare, and free time to work on side projects that “occasionally turned into real Google products.” Workers were also naturally drawn by a sense that, despite being a corporation, employers like Google were on a mission to make the world a better place,” one researcher told CNN Business.
However, the reality seems to be that Google isn’t what it was cracked up to be. Turns out, numerous Silicon Valley companies face similar tensions with employees: Facebook employees have opposed the social media company’s stance on political advertising; Amazon employees staged a walkout to impel the CEO to take more action on climate change; Microsoft and Saleforce have gotten letters from employees requesting them to cut ties with contracts with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
As a result, current employees of tech companies, as well as prospective employees, should consider taking a deeper look at the ethics and practices of their employers. If employees don’t feel that a company’s values line up with theirs, they might consider bringing concerns up with their supervisors, raise awareness about these affairs internally, or, if the situation is severe enough, maybe relocate to another company who values employees. Regardless of which action is taken, decision makers might consider bringing to light Google’s longtime motto, “Don’t be evil,” and encouraging other companies (including Google itself) to act on it.