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A look inside Facebook's New York office, where employees of the US$280 billion company enjoy virtual reality games and an in-house pastry chef

Facebook NYC 4958Sarah JacobsWe took a trip to Facebook’s Manhattan office.

Known for its incredible perks, impressive salaries, and great corporate culture, Facebook is one of the world’s most desirable places to work.

The Menlo Park, California-based tech giant consistently earns top spots on rankings like Business Insider’s annual “best companies to work for,” Glassdoor’s “best places to work,” and LinkedIn’s “top attractors,” among many others.

To see what all the fuss is about, Business Insider recently visited Facebook‘s Manhattan office … and let’s just say, we get it.

Here’s what we saw and learned during our tour:

We arrived at Facebook's Greenwich Village office on a mild Friday afternoon in November. Once we checked in, we were greeted by engineering director Jeff Reynar and corporate communications manager Jamil Walker.

Sarah Jacobs

The first thing that jumped out at us on the tour was this physical embodiment of a Facebook 'wall.' Reynar told us New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker recently stopped by to sign it. 'What's kind of fun about this is that there's a wall at most of our offices,' Reynar says. 'It's kind of temporary. At some point, we'll probably do some kind of construction and this will go away and we'll start a fresh one with new signatures.'

Sarah Jacobs

Across all of its 66 offices and data centres worldwide, Facebook -- which has a market cap of $382 billion (US$280 billion) as of mid-November -- employs almost 16,000 people. About 1,000 of them work in the Frank Gehry-designed Manhattan location, which also houses members of the company's Instagram team. Facebook occupies four floors of the building, which was once a Wanamaker's department store.

Because the office is huge and employs so many workers, it can be easy to lose track of people. This screen allows you to type in a employee's name and it will show you where they sit.

Sarah Jacobs

Early on in our tour, we spotted the famous 'tiny room.' This space includes a miniature deer head mounted on the wall, a little couch, and smaller versions of posters actually hanging in the office. Celebrities like singer Selena Gomez and model Ashley Graham have snapped photos in this spot and posted them to their Instagram pages.

Sarah Jacobs

Our next stop was the office's new media space, used for filming Facebook Live interviews. The spot features a fully-lit stage and a classic view of New York City. Reynar says celebrity sightings aren't rare around the Facebook office. Recently, the cast of Netflix's 'Stranger Things' swung by for an interview.

Sarah Jacobs

The Facebook New York office -- home to the engineering, sales, and HR teams, among others -- features an open layout.

Sarah Jacobs

'Though everybody has a desk in the middle of the floor, you'll also see that there are lots of quiet, tucked away corners where you can go sit on a couch, sit on a chair, and get some work done away from the hustle and bustle of your team,' Reynar says.

Sarah Jacobs

Like this one ...

Sarah Jacobs

... and this one.

Sarah Jacobs

'It's a nice, high energy place to work,' Reynar says.

Sarah Jacobs

If you're looking for an especially quiet place to escape, the office library offers just that.

Sarah Jacobs

We asked Reynar about the culture. As we passed this sign, he explained that traditions like 'hackathons' are crucial for helping the company to maintain its startup feel as it grows.

Sarah Jacobs

Another thing Facebook is famous for: the food.

Sarah Jacobs

We saw several snack bars around the office throughout our tour. All food and drinks are completely free (and unlimited!) for employees.

Sarah Jacobs

Facebook staffs a culinary team that works out of a fully-equipped commercial kitchen. Favourites include the pizza station, the salad bar, and the frozen yogurt, which is made in the office. The office even employs a pastry chef.

Sarah Jacobs

'The food is great and the menu is different every day, which is really nice,' Reynar says. 'We get breakfast, lunch, dinner and coffee. You don't always have to go out to a restaurant.' However, he notes that Facebook also encourages its employees to get out and explore the surrounding neighbourhood establishments.

Sarah Jacobs

Facebook is in the process of building a second cafeteria in their New York office. Until construction is done, Facebook employees are enjoying meals from these subway-themed food trucks.

Sarah Jacobs

The perks aren't limited to the food. Employees can also enjoy board games or virtual reality sessions in the office.

Sarah Jacobs

Employees can also hit up this free vending machine if they ever need batteries, a new mouse, or a new keyboard.

Sarah Jacobs

But this office's defining trait is its art. There are creative works scattered throughout the floors, created by visiting artists and employees alike.

Sarah Jacobs

Employees can design and print their own posters to decorate the walls at the office's analogue research laboratory.

Sarah Jacobs

There are also murals and posters around every corner. Much of the art reflects Facebook's values. These posters demonstrate the tech giant's support of gay pride ...

Sarah Jacobs

... as does this colourful flower wall. 'There's a lot of art that's influenced by openness, connectedness, and the company mission of connecting the world,' Reynar says.

Sarah Jacobs

'Rather than just going out and buying cool art and hanging it up somewhere, we get the artist to come in and make the art here,' Reynar says. 'It's kind of fun because not only do the employees get to hang out and chat with the artist about what they're doing and why, but Facebook sort of gets to influence the theme somewhat.'

Sarah Jacobs

Sometimes, decorating the office also allows for teams to collaborate on fun projects. These 'space hacks' involve figuring out creative ways to design or utilise spaces. This purple electrical display on the left is one space hack.

Sarah Jacobs

Here's another space hack, where employees set up a costume wall.

Sarah Jacobs

Reynar says he watched from his desk as an artist painted this mural, which is a physical manifestation of the crowdsourced 'Manhattan Memories Map' -- a global project that asked New Yorkers to share memories on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #manhattanmemoriesmap.

Sarah Jacobs

Source: Facebook

One of the most remarkable pieces of art hangs in the staircase between the eighth and seventh floors. This piece incorporates thousands of strands of thread connecting the ceiling to the floor. As you walk up the stairs, it shimmers and appears to move.

Sarah Jacobs

'I think both the kind of colourful nature of the space and all the comfortable seating and the art in particular would surprise a lot of people,' Reynar says. 'It's a little more vibrant than you might expect.'

Sarah Jacobs

Before we left, we checked out one final perk: a fantastic view of New York City. Reynar says that the Manhattan office's eclectic, industrial look is meant to both provide employees with a positive, vibrant workspace and reflect the motto, 'this journey is 1% finished.' 'It's supposed to look like a work in progress,' Reynar told Business Insider. 'We're only getting started.'

Sarah Jacobs

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