Inside Google's Chicago Office

By BJ Lutz
|  Wednesday, Oct 14, 2009  |  Updated 12:30 PM PDT
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Inside Google's Chicago Office

Google

Google Chicago's logo, complete with John Hancock Building!

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Not everyone can work for one of the coolest companies around, but at least we can get a peek inside.

Located in the River North neighborhood, Google's Chicago office is one of 67 around the globe and employs about 450 Googlers.

"We've got engineers that are working on top secret stuff, and the next big product that Google's going to come out with," Google team manager Megan Danielson told WGN-TV's Marcus Leshock during his recent tour of the facility.

Some of those "top secret" projects include Google Code, FeedBurner and a couple of advertising platforms, according to Google Chicago's own site.

The company is noted for its creative atmosphere, and Google Chicago, located at 20 W. Kinzie, is apparently no different. The lobby is comfortable and interactive, with bright colors, exercise balls and real-time, filtered search results cascading on flat-panel monitors.

A "tech stop" area offers tech support triage for employees' computers, and the cafeteria offers free daily lunches (be careful of the Google 15, Danielson warns).

"We want people, we encourage people to eat in our cafeteria because it encourages team building and we want people to sit together, and just like on a college campus, share ideas and eat together," she said.

Workspaces are grouped into pods or bullpens to facilitate collaboration and the sharing of ideas.

"There are a lot of companies where teams are almost operated like independent companies, they're not allowed to tell each other what they're working on, everything's top secret all the time, and that's just not the way it works here. It's very, very transparent," said software engineer Ben Collins-Sussman in a Crain's Chicago Business video last year.

Google Chicago Office Photos

RedEye:  Google Chicago

 

 

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