Though companies like to pretend that they’re open and friendly, getting a glimpse at the inner working of their business can be a difficult task – and popping in for a walk around their head offices is another matter entirely. Luckily, a few people have been let inside some of the world’s biggest companies headquarters, which means you don’t have to travel halfway around the globe just to get turned away from their reception when you ask for a gander round the place.
Google – London
Google’s London Head Office Tour
One of the coolest head offices anywhere in the work, Google’s London base is the high watermark against which all other bluechip company headquarters can be measured against. With no expense spared, there are special breakout rooms where staff can compete in inter-office snooker leagues, meeting rooms based on cinema screening theatres and even a specialist coffee lab for staff. This tour allows you to take a look behind the usual iron curtain of the world’s largest search engine – and makes you wish that you were one of the select few to actually work there.
Facebook – Palo Alto, California, USA
Facebook Head Office Tour
Anyone who has seen The Social network knows that Facebook has never been your normal company. Even now that they’re one of the most valuable brands in the world, they’re still breaking all the rules of all before them, as this Tech Crunch tour illustrates. Enormous, open-plan and full of landmarks that have defined the social media for a generation, it is a genuinely intriguing look at one just how one of the most influential companies the world has ever seen actually operates.
CIA – Langley, Virginia, USA
CIA Dog Training Head Office Tour
A slightly creepy video, this – with a talking dog giving you a glimpse at how some of the most highly trained canines anywhere in the globe are taught to such high level at the CIA. With American national security and the lives of millions in their hands – or, rather, paws – it’s a little jarring for our narrator to have a cuddly voice, but it does offer an illuminating glance at how the puppies have come to be one of the best methods for fighting against crime.
Microsoft – Redmond, Washington, USA
Microsoft XBOX Head Office Tour
For many gamers, working at for Microsoft’s XBOX division would be a dream come true in itself – but with the all the added benefits they’ve got on their campus, the few thousand that actually manage to get offered a job there must feel like they’ve died and gone to heaven. Though it doesn’t quite have the high design principles of some of their others on this list – which should come as no surprise given the fact they’ve got the latest and best games to be focussing on instead of furniture – it’s still one of the greatest headquarters anywhere in the world.
YouTube – San Bruno, California, USA
YouTube Head Office Tour
A look around some of the best YouTube tours of head offices wouldn’t be complete without looking at where YouTube themselves are based. Done in the style of MTV’s Cribs, Tech Crunch’s walkthrough of the building focuses on the cool added benefits of the YouTube HQ – with indoor miniature golf in the reception, a Tiki bar (branded YouTiki) at which individual teams throw parties for the whole company and an enormous slide to get down stairs some of the most notable features.