This morning in the Google house: One of the ultra trendy meeting rooms in the London office
Google needs its engineers to come up with brilliant ideas, and to help them do that apparently a work environment like the Big Brother House will do the trick.
The search giant’s London headquarters in Victoria covers three floors, but last week some of its 350 staff began using a revamped engineering floor - called L4 - that has to be one of the trendiest in the world.
Meeting rooms feature strange angular sofas, the corridors look like the inside of the starship Enterprise and the workers can play pool and video games during their breaks.
Nelson Mattos, Google’s Vice President of Engineering, said: ‘We hire the brightest and best engineers in the UK and put them together in a highly creative, relaxed and exciting environment.’
When Google set about creating it, they started with a completely blank canvas.
All the walls were knocked through and the furniture taken away.
And relax: A Google worker hoping for inspiration
Then a unique look was dreamed up to keep the employees at the top of their game.
Ideas are obviously a key part of working for Google, and there’s never a shortage of space to write them down – some of the walls in the corridors are made up of huge white boards.
To help keep the engineers’ brains fully fuelled, meanwhile, there's plenty of food and liquid refreshment on offer.
There is a 'coffee lab' serving 19 different blends and four free restaurants - including a tapas and sushi bar.
Paying is never a distraction either, because it's all free.
Designed to inspire: Cushions are all-important at Google
There’s also a gym, sound-proofed music room with drums and guitars and a games room with a pool table, video consoles and a giant Samsung TV.
The Google office even features its own version of the Big Brother garden complete with deck chairs, carpet that resembles grass and a rowing boat.
Mattos adds: ‘Contrary to accepted wisdom, fun offices don’t hurt. Our experience is that a comfortable, open and fun environment encourages creativity and openness.
'Open spaces make chance interactions more likely, and chance interactions often lead to the greatest ideas.
'Many of our products came from unrelated teams finding out about each other’s work and physically meeting to discuss fresh approaches.’
Playtime: Google workers are treated to a pool table and games consoles
The firm is keen to point out that the London office is a very important part of its global operation, with the team there being responsible for many of the most popular Android and iPhone apps.
Voice search, personalised local search and elements of Android’s web browser were all created in London, too.
It's fairly certain that none of the team there would want to be evicted.
Central Perk, Google-style: The Coffee Lab serves 19 blends
It's an office, but not as we know it: Google's corridors look very futuristic
Presentation suite: For bigger team talks bosses can use this state-of-the-art suite
Chill a minute: The office is designed to be completely stress free
Bizarre: Unconventional seating is a must at Google
One of the many relaxation areas in L4
Not a speck of dust in sight: Two workers admire their new super-clean office environment
Global headquarters: The Googleplex headquarters in San Francisco is also quirky
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