Tour of Seattle’s Google Office, Deemed Better Than Palo Alto HQ

Google technical writer Jenelle Anderson takes a break from work outside with Levi, her coworker's dog, at Google's offices in Kirkland.

With more than 1,000 employees in the Seattle area, Google has become one of the largest tech companies in the region. And they’ve brought with them the company’s nontraditional benefit structure, which includes having kayaks in the office in case you want to take a lunchtime float down the ship canal next to Google’s Fremont office, or a climbing wall if you want to defy gravity at the Kirkland office.

In the Seattle region, Google has already created more than 1,000 jobs, making it one of the largest tech companies in the area. With them came the company’s creativity-inspiring offices, kayaks for those who want to float down a ship canal during lunch time, or for the more adventurous there is a climbing wall. Nice perks to an already nice job exist at the Kirkland Google Office.


Google’s offices around the world have their own attention to detail. They know how to create a happy work environment. You can bring your dog to work, where doggy stations are distributed throughout the office with dog treats, toys, and water bowls.

Employee’s can build-your-own trailmix at any of the micro kitchen stations, or devour fresh fruit and a many options for beverages. On the water coolers are three options for temperature: room temp., chilled and sparkling.

The main cafeterias, one per building, offer free food for three meals a day, and is color coded to let the Google Employees know if they’re making a healthy choice or a fat-person choice.

Like their other offices, this one is open concept, with adjustable desks so employees can work standing or sitting. For more private conversations, they can duck into Dr. Who-style phone booths or make a reservation for a conference room using the Google-designed solar-powered conference room reservation station installed outside of each room. Or they can just use an app on their phone (which has an interactive map of the entire office).

What amazed me the most about the Google offices is how beautifully they’re designed. There is a lot going on, but it still doesn’t feel overwhelming. I’ve often dreamed of having such a relaxing place where I could tip-toe from my desk to a much-needed change of scenery. Google provides employees with exactly that, with a range of chairs, overstuffed beanbags, and futurisitic bubble chairs hanging from the ceiling to massage chairs like those found in nail salons.

Don’t like those bright lights your office has? Google ven has a range of lighting for those who crave natural light or a dark corner to power through lines of code.

Google’s Seattle and Kirkland offices are the company’s largest engineering offices and are the third-largest Google office overall. The company’s New York office is the second-largest office.

Engineers at Google Seattle/Kirkland developed the Google+ Hangout feature, which allows multiple people to video chat and automatically detects who is speaking to display that person on the main video screen. Currently, some of the work for Google’s Chrome browser is being done in Kirkland as well.

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I’m a writer based out of East Village, Manhattan. I work from my condo and local coffee shops (and a few restaurants with menus that are more unhealthy than licking a subway railing), meeting friends who have boats or boat access, touring the zoo for the zoo to visit my ex-boyfriends, and forcing my political beliefs on others at social events (kidding, don’t be one of those people.