Meetings in the jungle lounge, free massages, and perpetually full refrigerators: In Google’s offices, every detail aims to make employees feel at home.
That’s because if people feel comfortable at work, they are also more productive, according to the philosophy of Google founder Larry Page.
This special working culture also attracts talent: In 2017, Google made the Forbes list of most popular employers for the sixth time.
The largest Google office on the European mainland is located in Zurich, where more than 2,000 employees work on products such as Google Maps, Youtube, and Gmail. Some of the space is open-plan offices which look quite normal, but most employees do not have a permanent desk.
Take a look at the mega-campus, where the self-proclaimed “Zooglers” spend their days:
The Google Campus in Zurich is located only a few minutes’ walk from Lake Zurich on the grounds of an old brewery and extends over four floors.
Since January 2017, there has been a second location in the historic post office building at the main station. The employees also call themselves “Zooglers.”
The first thing visitors see in Google Switzerland is this lobby. However, you can only enter the building if you are personally invited.
The meeting rooms on the campus are arranged according to different themes. There are about 100 different plants in the jungle lounge.
Employees can retreat to these eggs in the jungle lounge to make phone calls or switch off.
These gondolas, which are based on the Swiss mountain railways, are often used for meetings.
The James Bond room has a secret back door — handy when a meeting is taking too long.
In the water lounge there are several leather loungers and a bathtub, where Zooglers can have a nap.
These detachable seating corners are decorated with plastic penguins and fur elements.
The Western Lounge is furnished like an old saloon with a piano, bar, swinging door, and cacti.
The food is free of charge for Google employees. The idea is that those who go to the canteen waste less time outside the campus during their lunch break.
Sometimes cooks and pastry chefs and confectioners from outside Zurich come to present their creations.
There are several city-themed coffee kitchens on the campus. In addition to Stockholm, Hamburg and Brussels, there is also the Zurich version based on the Swiss supermarket chain Coop.
Every afternoon at 5:00, the title theme music of Heidi plays on campus, Google writes on its Swiss website. This is the sign that employees are invited for beer, snacks, and a get-together in the Hürlimann-Bar. Hürlimann is the name of the brewery that was previously located on the site.
One of the main attractions on campus is this silver slide that takes you from one floor to the next.
Instead of the slide, employees can take this firefighter’s pole.
Zooglers can also relax in the massage room, free of charge.
In this room, you can play table tennis or pinball. Google theorizes that joint activities lead to creative ideas and innovation.
The band rehearsal room is adjacent to the arcade.
This room is used for presentations — and for movies.
Zooglers have their own gym.
This coffee kitchen is in Lego colors. Billiards and foosball tables allow employees to exchange ideas.
Even if it is technically not underground, there is a wine cellar.
And, if all this activity wears you out, you can retreat to the “sleeping car” of an imitation train for a quick nap.
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