For the last couple of years, a skyscraper has been slowly rising at the corner of Second and Howard Street in San Francisco’s SOMA neighbourhood. The entire building is being leased by LinkedIn, and everybody was calling it “The LinkedIn building.”
Last month, it finally opened. The company invited press to view the lobby, which is impressive enough — it’s covered in hardwood. Now, LinkedIn sent us some photos of the offices taken by one of its engineers, Tony Chung, and it looks utterly amazing.
We’ve seen a lot of over-the-top tech company offices, both in San Francisco and in Silicon Valley to the south. But LinkedIn’s new building has a ton of stuff we’ve never seen before.
Here's the skyscraper. The San Francisco Chronicle's architecture writer panned it, saying it looked like it was 'designed and built by New Yorkers' and comparing it to Darth Vader. But that seems a little extreme. It's a skyscraper. It's reflective and black. It looks kind of cool, if a little imposing.
Here's the second floor entry. This photo looks like you're looking through a glass window with words on it, but that's an illusion...
Here's a list of all the sources where the cafeteria gets its food. It's a little like a 'Portlandia' sketch, but on the other hand it's nice to know where your food is actually coming from. It's not made in a factory somewhere.
There are also signs reminding employees to be conscious about wasting food and the water that produces that food.
There's also a fitness center, which is a nice perk, though not uncommon in big tech companies these days.
Here's a vending machine if you need new gear to do your job. We've seen these at Facebook also, but the screen in the middle of the LinkedIn logo is a nice touch.
Now we start getting into the really unique stuff. Each floor has something called a 'staff wall' that encourages employees to interact with each other. Here's one that lets them fill in words like Mad Libs.
Employees can borrow any of the books here. LinkedIn stocked these, but over time they're hoping it will turn into a lending library.
This one's on the 4th floor, which has a theme of 'Obscure San Francisco Parks.' Employees are encouraged to post pictures of themselves in parks, but it's being used for all kinds of random snapshots.
This is on the 12th floor, which has a theme of 'Video games set in San Francisco.' Employees are encouraged to take a picture of themselves dressed as a video game character -- cameras are provided and costumes encouraged -- then post it with info about characteristics like their humour, endurance, and so on.
Here's a silent disco -- a bunch of people can listen to the same song and groove together if they want to, without disrupting the office. Uber had a whole holiday party based on this concept last year.
This one is on the 5th floor, which has the theme 'San Francisco Coffee Roasters.' Employees are supposed to place their mug shots in the ... mugs.
Here you can 'create your avatar' by using dry-erase pens to add personal touches to the avatars on the wall.
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