From a few hundred workers to a new campus for 800 people, Google has vastly expanded in Boulder. The $130 million campus is comprised of two buildings with nearly 200,000 square feet. In true Google tradition it puts a premium on workers’ happiness — and keeping them in house for as many working hours as possible.
Google’s new digs incorporates Boulder and what makes the city unique. It all starts with access to a fitness center, free massages and a bouldering wall. On a quarterly basis, the Boulder Rock Climbing Club rotates routes along with Google’s own rock climbing club to mix things up.
Free food is big part of Google life. The popular gathering spot is sure to be the Rabbit Ears Barista stand (with free coffee and espresso drinks). A retro camping trailer that doubles as a meeting space occupies a nearby corner.
Breakfast and lunch are served most days inside the office’s Altitude Cafe. The company composts all food scraps from the cafeteria, starting with dehydrating food, which is then fed into a composter. Campus facility manager Tiffany Timmons says the compost is given to Google’s workers for their gardens, as well as local farmers and ranchers.
Another Google tennet is a work environment that fosters collaboration and conversation. In the Boulder office, there are dozens of spaces for workers to socialize and gather. A nearby bridge between the two buildings prompts workers to move between the two buildings and not remain isolated at their desk.
At the end of the day, all of Google’s workers are encouraged to walk, bike or take the bus home. In 2018, Google rolled out a parking cash-out program, which pays workers $5 a day if they don’t drive to campus.
There will be more workers coming to the Boulder campus. The tech giant plans to finish a third building. If it fully hires to capacity, the campus could house as many as 1,500 workers in downtown Boulder.