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Google Staff (Probably) More Productive Than You

Ahhh, corporate America, lover of bar graphs, pie charts and all things quantifiable in a spreadsheet. At Google Inc. (GOOG), a worker’s value has been known to be charted in terms of revenue per individual. And, in case you’re curious, the magic number – as of the most recent quarter, anyway – is $302,314.

According to Silicon Alley Insider, that’s the most efficient Google employees have been in three years. The increase probably has something to do with the remaining staff being fearful of losing their jobs, thus doing more with less (a time-honored tradition in American capitalism). Google is just one of the hundreds of companies that has implemented layoffs since the recession started.

But even though we like to mock the Ross Perot approach to data, improved productivity is a good thing. The more productivity, the fewer the layoffs – and, therefore, fewer over-qualified applicants flooding a job market with too little hiring demand.

So, back to Google, where higher productivity also reflects growing revenue – another positive sign that the recession is easing somewhat. In fact, Google CEO Eric Schmidt declared on Oct. 15 – the day the Internet giant released its third-quarter 2009 earnings – that the “worst of the recession is over.” Online ad sales are on the uptick, the Android mobile phone operating system is gaining serious traction among operators and YouTube is on the verge of profitability, executives say.

If the momentum continues, expect Google worker productivity to keep soaring. And maybe, just maybe, the Silicon Valley behemoth will start hiring again and reinstate some of those infamous employee perks (free cafeterias, free gym access, free haircuts … and so on). Offering those perks again would lead to further job creation (because someone needs to make the food, clean the workout equipment and cut the hair) and help lift the country out of the economic doldrums.

Here’s to Google-worker productivity!


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