Google is used worldwide every day for search, email, maps, videos, shopping, and much more. Besides being a global technology leader, Google is well known for being a great place to work. However, not many outsiders get to see inside Google's New York City offices.
As part of InterExchange’s organized Cultural Events, I was able to take a tour of Google NYC with a group of Work & Travel USA, Career Training USA, and Au Pair USA participants and InterExchange staff. Google NYC does not offer tours to the public, but InterExchange was able to arrange a special private tour for our international participants visiting New York City to meet Googlers themselves at one of America’s tech giants.
Google’s New York office is located in the historic Meatpacking District and was converted from a former Port Authority building on Eighth Avenue. The building is larger than the Empire State Building by about 1 million square feet, and houses about 5000 Googlers from 37 countries in both Sales and Engineering.
After a brief meet up to learn about American Culture at our InterExchange office, our group representing Russia, South Korea, Ireland, Montenegro, Ukraine, and Belarus took the subway uptown to begin our tour. We met our guide Abby in the lobby of the building, which already had the Google “feel” from the moment we walked in. The interactive wall across from the Reception desk is covered in light up buttons, which when pressed change the image on the wall - the Google logo in various fonts.
As we toured a floor of the Google NYC office, participants learned how Google has a different approach to running their company than they are used to at home. By offering many perks and amenities, Google has created a workplace that promotes creativity and innovation through hard work that also allows time to clear your head and have some fun. Whether it be the open floor plan, the numerous kitchens, a Health Center, interesting art installations, or even a Game Room (converted from an elevator that used to lift 18-wheel semi-trucks!), Google has certainly thought of everything when it comes to keeping the Googlers comfortable at work. When we stopped at the Computer Museum on the fourth floor participants discussed the role of technology and computers in their home countries.
Our visit to Google NYC was a great opportunity for our participants to visit an internationally recognized technology company and learn about an American workplace. Google is able to connect the world through technology, and we were able get a sneak peek at how they create the tools most of us use every day. Participants were surprised to hear that there may even be a Google office in their country at home, and many were very interested to learn more about working there!