Inside Google’s Playful Sydney Offices

Inside Google’s Playful Sydney Offices

Google’s Australian HQ in Sydney might not boast an indoor bike lane (which its Netherlands office features), a slide (Zurich) or a rock-climbing wall (Boston). However, it does have the search giant’s customary visual flair and attention to playing hard after working hard.

Around 400 staff work in Google’s Australian HQ in Pyrmont in Sydney. Around half of them are engineers, and Google wants to hire another 100 or so over the next year. While each employee has their own desk, there’s a big emphasis on collaborative spaces where formal and informal meetings can take place. (In a suitably geeky touch, meeting room bookings can be checked using QR codes. And yes, that’s a table made from a bath filled with giant rubber ducks.)

As well as an on-site canteen, there’s a series of micro-kitchens throughout the building, where staff can grab coffee, cereal and snacks at any time. There’s also a library for quiet working and contemplation, a dedicated Tech Stop area to fix any technical issues with PCs, and a relaxation area with games consoles, ping pong and billiards. Check out the pictures below for a closer look.


  • When I was in uni we had a past student come in and talk about what they ha done since finishing and such, and he talked about being offered a job at google and turning it down. Apparently, while the work environment seems great, it actually means your at work a hell of a lot longer than you would be normally, and that there isnt really any room for advancement in your career there, so many employees will work there solid for a few years and save up some cash, and then they crash cause they are so worn out. I am not saying that this happens, but it sounds like it could be accurate.

    • I worked at Google for 6 years, retired only recently. I didn’t ‘crash’, I did save a lot of money and had the best time of my life. There is plenty of opportunities to move up in the company. I started relatively high but I hired and mentored people who started at entry level tech support roles and within a few years they were managers making huge impacts globally within the company. So basically, your friend was wrong and probably made the wrong choice.

  • Guy’s… although it isn’t tech related or the like, you should check out the offices at Diageo (worlds leading spirit company). I think it is better than this.
    Great “play” areas, awesome free bar (for employees and friends), rooftop terrace overlooking Sydney harbour, full kitchen with professional coffee machine, TV’s throughout and many more.
    Rated #2 company to work for in Australia.

  • Wow, pretty cool. Don’t know how my staff would react to all those sneaky security cameras all over the roof.

    See one in the blue/black thing picture.
    See another thru the branches of those wooden trees.

    Apparently there are more discreet cameras in the bathrooms though.

    • Sorry Paul but you’re wrong. I am an ex-googler and in fact I helped our security team install a camera system in one of the main offices. All cameras are static and they all point at swipe doors (doors that only Googlers can open). This is for when a crime occurs the security team can be sure the person who swiped in matches the person who actually walked through the door. Seriously sad that you think they’d be used to spy on employee’s and to me that says more about you than it does about Google.

      • I am wrong because I said I don’t know how my staff would react to cameras that ‘look’ like they have 360 degree view of common areas? Sorry I didn’t notice the picture above that clearly showed they were directional cams pointing at access points only, with no live viewer and only used for when all the crime happens at Google.

        Regardless, I was just having a chop, but I see how easy “Googlers” are to defend the business, it’s like an Apple user defending their new iPhone.

        FYI, I have a highly visible directional camera (not a dome) in my lobby watching our front door and my staff commented on it. People just don’t like to feel like their movements are being recorded, but as long as ex-Googler’s feel comfortable then I guess everyone else is wrong?

      • Wow Paul, hypersensitive much? So because I want to defend an employer who by far and away was the best employer I’ve ever had makes me some sort of fanboy? Sorry but Google earned my respect and I will defend them when people make unfounded aspersions. It does sound like any of your employee’s would do the same for you.

        • I am guessing you didn’t work in Customer relations srw… ’cause you are really coming across as a pushy troll. Worst representative Google could wish for…

      • @srw
        You’re the hypersensitive one. Paul just made a reasonable comment, and you’ve insulted him twice for absolutely no reason. If you’re any indication of the sort of aggressive, arrogant a-hole that Google hires, then they can have you. Then again, you are an “ex” Google employee, aren’t you? I can’t imagine why they would want to get rid of a nice guy like you… 🙂

  • 12 weeks ago l sent google Australia a hand made deck of cards call internet google card game l was kind of expecting a letter back by now. l am not even sure if they received it. l sent it to the product manager as registered mail. l know that they must be very busy . But my kids keep asking me if we got a letter today because we came up with the game when we didn’t have any electricity for 10 hours one day . l admit the game was average but l thought it was a great advertising game. l am happy for the game to be in googles game room. l just want a letter.

  • my card game plays as follows……the main card is the google which is first card down (on which anything google can be advertised … google map….google earth so on ) ….the second card down is an internet site …eg facebook twitter mail iTunes utube ebay so on ……the third card down is related to the second card down ….eg twitter is known for # ..or facebook is known for post or mail is known @ so on …and then repeat ….each player starts with 6 cards if they are unable to put a card down they have to pick a card up from the deck ………..the first person with no cards left wins

  • eggs are unused prime advertising real estate a dozen can spell GOOGLE SEARCH half a dozen GOOGLE ….one way into the supermarkets …..billions of eggs are consumed every day ….google it

    • a dice has 6 six side enough for google and or search X 6 dice and u have a kids google dice game… u can tell l have a part time thing for advertising…. hehehe

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