A Visit to the Google London Offices

Recently, I got the opportunity through London Universities International Partnership to visit the Google offices in London. We got to check out the coolest working environment I’ve ever seen, and also got to learn a lot about what makes them such a successful company as well, along with all of the cool up and coming projects they’re working on.

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This was the first impression we got of the office: Bedazzled walls decked out with the Union Jack, complete with TVs lining the floors.

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And I got to feel British for about three seconds.

We got to tour all the floors of the building, and learned that the rumoured micro-kitchens, fully supplied with drinks and snacks, are indeed real and always accessible (even to us visitors!). We also learned that there are no physical office spaces for the employees. Instead, there are a whole ton of more lounge-like areas so that everyone can easily collaborate, and also work in a more relaxed and less-stressed work environment. It’s also been shown to promote creativity and and productivity as well.  Personally, I would be totally game with taking one of these cubbies for the day to get work done!

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One of the larger lounge areas, with more private work stations along the wall.

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There were also places on the top floor of the building for everyone to work outside on those warmer dry days.

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I probably wouldn’t be able to get any work done out on the terrace though with these views to take in, especially since we could just about see the top of LSHTM from here! (You could actually see it perfectly from the other side of the terrace)

Along with these awesome work spaces, we also got to see some the the places to relax and get away from work, including a game room and a gym.

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Google pool anyone?

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I wouldn’t mind going to the gym and taking in this amazing view during a workout!

After touring the building, and filling up on tea and biscuits, we got to sit down and talk with some Google employees where we learned all about Google, their projects including: Google fiber, the self driving car, and Project Loon, plus their ongoing updates with Google Maps, and Google Translate; and we learned their 9 Notions of Innovation:

1. Customer Need= Creative Inspirationfeedback ,testing of products/apps)
2. Ideas can come from EverywhereGoogle Science Fair, internal systems like Google Ideas)
3. Fail Quickly, and Learnsome older attempts such as Google Buzz
4. Allow Ideas to Morphwatching things like Google Buzz morph into Google wave, and eventually Google Plus
5. Creativity loves Constraintthe Creative Academy
6. Share Everything
7. Data informs Decision-makingGoogle trends, Google analysis
8. Users come First“Focus on the user and all else will follow”
9. License to Pursue PassionSeen in their ‘20% projects’, where employees pick a project they’re passionate about that has nothing to do with their day job, and they get the time (20%) and resources to work on it in the office.

These 9 notions can be applied not only to Google employees, but to anyone who works or goes to school trying to build up success. Along with learning these, we also got the chance to learn all about YouTube and vlogging success! This started as a quiz, which thanks to one of my mentors, Alice, and the awesomeness of the LSHTM team, we took home a YouTube clapperboard!

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Quite the interesting souvenir to bring home!

And we were all excited to get to sit down with two YouTubers, Sanne Vliegenthart of Books And Quills and Helen Anderson. We got to chat with them about how they got started in the world of making YouTube videos, and how they reached the point of success they are at now, along with how becoming successful Youtubers affects their life and their careers.

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Sanne Vliegenthart and Helen Anderson

All in all, a great deal was learned about how to put yourself out there, and how to be successful in doing so, and they were tips that can be carried and applied to all various courses in life. It was also learned that amazing ideas and products can come out of a very fun and very spacious office 🙂

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LUIP Student Ambassador Group plus mentors, Google staff and YouTubers!

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