Everything We Saw and Learned at Google NYC
By Caroline Cakebread, Junior Newhouse NYC student and MAG major
On Tuesday, April 19, professor Finlayson’s Social Media class visited the Google NYC offices for a tour, and were mind blown to say the least. Our awesome guides were Jared Craft and Miako Smith, who both work on the Google brand solutions team. The NYC offices span multiple buildings and blocks, and make up the third largest building in Manhattan. This being said, we didn’t have time to see the entire complex, but what we were able to pack in during our hour was amazing, and convinced us that “Googlers” (Google’s term for its employees) might have one of the best gigs in the city.
For starters, the complex has 13 micro kitchens and six full service cafeterias. Smith told us that this is strategic on Google’s part. Employees don’t have to waste work hours leaving the building and hunting for a good lunch spot. She also said that one of the things that brought her to Google was the fact that Google takes care of their employees, and wants them to be happy and healthy. The food options are part of that, but the idea extends into the overall work culture. Part of that culture is incorporating a bit of fun into the office. Craft showed us a recently opened addition to the extensive culinary options; a cafeteria that is only reachable by ladder, and that serves only brunch all day long.
The ladder to the brunch cafeteria is in the middle of a room filled with Legos for engineers and employees, and right next to a game room with multiple ping pong tables, TVs for gaming and foosball tables. However, Google hasn’t become as wildly successful as it is because its’ employees mess around all day. There is also a lot of hard work happening. To make sure their Googlers can seamlessly continue their work, the office has a “tech stop.” Googlers can bring their misbehaving laptops to the computer experts there, and have the problem addressed. Also scattered throughout the building are bins of chargers and other cords that anyone can check out by scanning their employee badge.
At the end of our tour, we sat down with Smith and Craft to ask a few questions. We of course asked about Alphabet and what the reasoning behind the decision was. Craft said that having Alphabet as the parent company allows Google to take risks with its smaller assets, without harming the larger ones.
Taking risks is part of Alphabet’s overall strategy for success and the employees are encouraged to participate. “No one is going to shut down an idea if you are passionate about it,” said Craft. “It will only end up adding the business.”