‘Googleplex Cultures’

A Marxist Analysis of Silicon Valley Workplace Cultures

  • Alim Tharani MacEwan University

Abstract

This paper takes a Marxist approach to analyze Silicon Valley workplace cultures and how they exploit and alienate their workers. Unlike traditional corporate offices, Silicon Valley workplace cultures offer a range of perks and benefits that attract every office worker; however, it makes them feel a sense of appreciation, known throughout the paper as ‘Googleplex culture’. This culture presents a “decentralized workforce explicitly with integrated units working together to find solutions to problems or failure” (Tran, 2017) while providing employees with a range of unconventional, yet useful amenities. Throughout this paper, it is clear Googleplex culture’s onsite benefits, such as kitchens, free meals, snacks, cafés, private rooms, designated sleep areas, workout facilities, and many more perks the average workers could only wish for, obscure both the absolute and relative surplus labour which lead to exploitation. Googleplex cultures claim to be centred around the worker; however, the concept of crunch depicted in these companies is mainly focused on profits rather than employee health, further providing evidence that these workplace cultures initiate Marx's four forms of alienation. 

Published
2020-11-30