- Business Insider got to take a peek inside LinkedIn’s New York City office within the Empire State Building.
- The office featured a speakeasy, a full-service cafeteria, game rooms, and a small gym.
- The office also gave me a clue into the inclusive company culture. Working parents brought their kids in regularly, and unlike other startups, they don’t serve alcohol most days a week.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
LinkedIn’s company mission is to help connect job seekers with cool places to work – and the company itself may be the coolest yet.
The online job marketplace gave Business Insider a tour of its New York City office. The workplace, which takes up seven floors of the historic Empire State Building, is just one of the company’s 33 global offices. Other locations can be found in places like the Bay Area, India, and China.
I took a tour of LinkedIn’s Midtown Manhattan office and was thoroughly impressed. Not only were there fun rooms – like a secret “speakeasy” where new hires serve drinks to veteran employees each Thursday – but the office was surprisingly inclusive for working parents and people who don’t drink.
Here’s an inside look at LinkedIn’s Empire State Building office:
LinkedIn’s NYC office is in the historic Empire State Building.
There are 1,000 employees who work at this location, out of 15,000 full-time employees globally.
After getting out of the elevator to the 28 th floor, the entrance to LinkedIn features the company’s signature blue light. I felt like I had entered a nightclub.
Guests use an iPad to sign in to meet their hosts at the company. Behind the entrance, you can see a constantly updating number count of how many members LinkedIn has.
The spacious lounge also hosts company events or meeting with clients, according to LinkedIn communications representative Sophie Sieck.
The NYC office differs from other locations due to its “New York” themes. The company features food and drinks from local vendors, meeting rooms are named after different city streets, and there’s even a wall with tags of employees’ favourite spots around town.
The New York office also has awesome views of the surrounding skyline.
Near the entrance, LinkedIn has large boardrooms they use during client meetings. These important meetings take place in “one of the loudest areas of New York,” Sieck said, so designers had to soundproof the walls.
LinkedIn recently built LinkedIn Studio, where they record and livestream talks with company executives and famous patrons. Recent livestream guests include Melinda Gates, Jennifer Lopez, and Ariana Huffington. During the livestreams, LinkedIn members can ask questions that guests will answer in real time. Members can also watch the recording after it’s over.
One of the coolest parts of LinkedIn’s NYC office is a “speakeasy,” or a secret bar. The entrance to the office speakeasy is covered with old-fashioned rotary phones in various colours.
To open the speakeasy, you have to use your cell phone to call one of the rotary phones that cover the walls. You don’t know which one, so you have to listen and pick up the right phone.
Afterward, you get a code that you must dial on the rotary phone that unlocks the door. You push the door open and get to the speakeasy. Every Thursday, new hires will serve beer to veteran employees at the speakeasy.
Sieck said the speakeasy happy hour occurs each Thursday afternoon to help new hires bond with their new teammates.
This is the only time LinkedIn brings alcohol to its office. Sieck said alcohol has never been a part of LinkedIn’s culture, as the company understands not everyone drinks and wants to be respectful of other peoples’ choices.
Instead of booze, LinkedIn has a number of fancy non-alcoholic beverages — such as “coconut, cherry and lemongrass kombucha” — on tap. The NYC office has “even more beverages on tap than the Bay Area office,” Sieck said.
LinkedIn wasn’t just inclusive for people who don’t drink — I spotted at least one gender-neutral bathroom, and there were numerous breastfeeding rooms for nursing mums. Sieck said working parents can also bring their kids in whenever they need to.
LinkedIn also has employee resource groups for workers of all identities. The LGBTQ group is called Out at In, for instance. For Hispanic Heritage Month, the company had featured artwork from different Latina artists in New York City along the cafeteria walls.
All breakfasts and lunches are free for company employees. There’s also a free espresso bar that operates throughout the day. There’s a rotating chef who makes different dishes each month, plus stations for salad, sandwiches, vegetarian and paleo cuisine, and more.
The NYC office’s cafeteria is located in the same area where the construction crew who originally built the Empire State Building sat and ate.
Near the cafeteria was a giant board that defined one of the many acronyms LinkedIn uses, including: JYMBII (Jobs You May Be Interested In), QPR (quarterly product release), LTS/LMS/LSS (LinkedIn Talent, Marketing, Learning Solutions).
The office also has a wall covered with framed photos of employee pets. There were a lot of dogs, some cats, and at least one hamster, from what I saw.
There is also a wellness room available for employees in the office, part of the company’s overall focus on health. There are different instructors who come in and teach classes, and at 1 pm everyday employees can dial in and hear an instructor lead a “stand up and stretch” exercise.
If employees need quiet spaces to work, there are two “minimal talking” libraries around the office, where books line the walls.
On my way out, there was a “binary-code switch” where you can turn on buttons, labelled zero or one for the binary system used in programming, to light them up. Employees sometimes play with the buttons and write messages, Sieck said. Each office she’s been to has some sort of interactive game outside the elevators, she added.
And of course, LinkedIn had a game room, complete with a giant chess board, Scrabble board, bean bag chairs, and pool table.
Over all, the thing I enjoyed most about LinkedIn’s NYC office was the inclusivity. Yes, speakeasies and game rooms are fun, but a parent-friendly, alcohol-free working space allows for all kinds of employees to feel comfortable going to work.
(But the view of the Manhattan skyline was a close second.)
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