Tom’s Trip To Google HQ
I will remember Wednesday 1 June 2011 with great fondness for some time. No it wasn’t that time of the month when I change my boxers, It was the day I reached the nucleus of search, a day visit to Google UK HQ.
Now I’d heard stories and read posts about how delightful the environment the Google employees operate in but I never thought it would be as exquisite as it was. The closest thing I can liken it too is Charlie’s chocolate factory made famous in the Roald Dahl books. Except the umpa lumpas were replaced with highly skilled computer engineers and alike and the end product wasn’t chocolate it was information.
So just like Charlie and the other kids entering the factory with golden tickets I entered Google HQ brandishing an a invite for the engage for agencies event they were holding to showcase services the program and Google currently operate and offer and allow a forum for us agencies to ask questions. Now this part was all very interesting and I got many good answers to my questions from the helpful Google staff, but the tour of the office is what I will really remember.
The first major thing you notice about the office is that it has a real London flavour to it with a mock tube maps for navigation and red phone boxes scattered liberally about for staff to make video conference calls or just find a bit of peace and quiet. They even have a full size London bus on one floor the staff can climb aboard and have a cheeky meeting or just pretend they drive a bus.
In the middle of the office is an area they have made into a forest with mock trees and grass and hammocks where the staff can go and be creative while relaxing. The staff must get pretty relaxed there because I’m pretty sure one of the guys was sleeping in the corner!!
The canteen was unlike a work canteen I had ever seen before also. For starters everything is free which is a nice touch and the variety of food on offer was like the biggest and best buffet I have ever been to. I was especially impressed by the ability to make your own smoothies by placing the fruit in a blender which is attached to a bike, in order to make the blender work you have to cycle the bike!
It wasn’t just the interior design that impressed me at Google HQ but also the staff who were all very knowledgeable and helpful. So in conclusion a thoroughly enjoyable day, but also valuable as I learnt a little more about Google products and upcoming innovations. Hopefully I’ll get another invite again soon!