Officially, Google is a dog company. This is speciesism. And it is very high-profile speciesism but the reason that the Google bosses will give is that because Google is a dog company, and dogs are welcome to work with the owners in their massive Googleplex headquarters, there is no place for cats because of the inherent problem of mixing dogs and cats. Of course, sometimes cats and dogs get on well but to a domestic dog the domestic cat is a prey animal to be chased, and course you can’t have that kind of chaos erupting in such a beautiful workplace, where to an outsider it looks more like a playground than an office.
Google is constantly ranked as one of the top places the work and I know why because I’ve visited their offices in London and they are completely different to what we are normally used to. They are colourful, light and airy. There’s free food everywhere, and as I said they look a bit like playgrounds compared to lawyers’ offices which is where I used to work.
And it is pleasing to report that they encourage employees to bring their dogs to work. I guess they know that it improves the ambience, which improves productivity although there must be some distractions too. Google clearly wishes to accommodate their employees wherever possible and they pay them damned well as well: the average salary being around £200,000 or the same in dollars in the US, as I recall. Google is a bit like an insurance company, they can guarantee making a profit as they control the profit margin. Great business.
They have a café at their headquarters named in honour of the first ever pet to visit a Google campus: Yoshka the dog, whose owner became the senior vice president of engineering. He first brought his dog to work with him in 1999. Yoshka died in 2011 but I guess the culture kicked off and Google is now a dog-friendly workspace. At the Googleplex they have a dog park called the Doogleplex. They even have a puppy therapy programme for employees across several of the offices I’m told.
The bosses welcome all pets but there must be restrictions and limitations to make things manageable and I’d expect some pretty thorough rules to make sure it all works out well. But to be fair to cats they could do more. They would have to separate people who live with cats from those who live with dogs. I am sure that at the moment Googleplex is divided up into certain departments relevant to their business but perhaps they could divide up the office block into dog areas and cat areas!? Or at least have one area in this massive complex where cats reign supreme and where no dogs are allowed. These would be ‘working cats’ as they’d be assisting their owners to be more productive like sitting on the computer keyboard and forcing the employee to stop and chill out and think.
That would be a strictly fair arrangement. I think Google have a duty to be ‘strictly fair’ towards companion animals. It would demonstrate objectivity in their thinking which is vitally important to ensure that people trust their search engine.
P.S. I expect that a lot of the office space is currently unused because of the Covid-19 pandemic which has led to a section of the workforce permanently working at home (with their cats!). As employees trickle back this is an opportunity to make new arrangements for cats! 🙂
Caveat: Only confident cats can become office cats. Timid cats will hate it. Too many people and strange noises etc..