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April 16, 2012 / mike54martin

Who Wouldn’t Want to Work at You Tube?

First of all you can tell all your friends where you work and watch their wordless OMG responses. Then you go to work in a place that’s been described as more of a summer camp than a workplace. You can wear whatever you want, although the team uniform is jeans and t-shirts and when you are bored from work you can try out the rock climbing wall, the indoor putting green or the outdoor Frisbee golf course. Hungry? No prob. Just amble over to the gourmet café where you can get free eats all day.

The question is not really why you wouldn’t want to work here. It’s how does any work ever get done. Yet despite all the glitz and glam You Tube, which is part of the gigantic Google empire, gets a lot of work done, and makes googles of money for its shareholders. That’s because You Tube and Google have discovered the magical elixir for motivating employees.

Now your company may not have the moolah for a 200 foot waterslide that cascades into an Olympic sized swimming pool, but you can add some of the basic elements that make You Tube a desirable place to work. Google has figured out that if they don’t care what people wear people think that they trust them to make their own choices. They know that some of the younger generations like to play hard so they have a foosball table waiting for people who need a break or have finished their work.

But You Tube is not some fairyland workplace where people only party all the time. Work is very serious business and their standards and expectations are very high. They don’t mind people who party hard, they just people who can work hard as well. And they value and measure performance. A lot. They have intense quarterly performance appraisals where you are not judged by your supervisors but your peers as well.

They also place a premium on work-life balance at You Tube. Something that many companies would do well to emulate. They believe and expect their managers to model the belief to leave work at work during the weekends. That means turning off all the electronic gadgets that tie you to work and spend time with your family and friends. Then come back to work, whatever time you get there, on Monday re-energized and ready to go.

So underneath the fun and games there’s a serious side to You Tube. One that features a nurturing of individual freedoms, a very serious work ethic, and lots of toys to play with when you’re done.  Who wouldn’t want to work there?

This post originally appeared on my blog at

Mike Martin is a freelance writer and workplace wellness consultant.

One Comment

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  1. Kitty Kilian (@KittyKilian) / Apr 28 2012 6:49 am

    Great post. Being appraised openly by your peers… Now there’s a revolutionary thought! Hm.. How ould that work…

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