Google has officially opened its long-awaited Bay View campus that aims to entice workers back into the office.
First announced in 2017, the Bay View campus is the first to be fully developed and built by the tech giant. The all-electric building is located only a seven-minute drive from Google’s main headquarters at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway and is capable of seating 4350 employees.
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Divided into two levels, the ground floor combines meeting rooms and cafés that aim to provide opportunities for workers to make real-life connections and foster collaboration. The upper level, however, is divided into noise-buffered cubicles that enable team members to focus on their tasks – as well as connect with remote-based coworkers using video conferencing equipment.
Google’s director of R+D for the Built Environment, Michelle Kaufmann, described the upper level as “more quiet”, allowing Googlers to “focus on that immediate team”.
The design of the Bay Area campus has been based on Google’s commitment to “operate every hour of every day on carbon-free energy by 2030”. The building is powered by nearby wind farms and sources solar power through its innovative dragonscale rooftop panels, which are separated by large overhead windows, allowing for natural daylight and reduced electricity consumption. It also gathers rainwater using above-ground ponds, which serve as water sources for cooling towers, flushing toilets, as well as irrigating the landscape as part of the tech giant’s commitment to replenishing 120% of the water it consumes by 2030.
Commenting on the newly-unveiled Bay Area campus, Google’s Real Estate & Workplace Services VP David Radcliffe said that, “with a distributed workforce, an office needs to create harmony between those who are in the office and those who are elsewhere”.
“The flexible nature of the focus and collaboration spaces at Bay View is just one way to accommodate these changes. I truly believe these buildings will keep up as we introduce new spaces to improve hybrid work,” he added.
Google employees were required to return to their designated offices in April, with most required to attend at least three days per week as part of the company-wide hybrid work policy. However, with many reluctant to leave their home working spaces behind, the tech giant has opted to lure its US workers back to the office with a free e-scooter, while also planning further large-scale campus investments.
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Having only graduated from City University in 2019, Sabina has already demonstrated her abilities as a keen writer and effective journalist. Currently a content writer for Drapers, Sabina spent a number of years writing for ITPro, specialising in networking and telecommunications, as well as charting the efforts of technology companies to improve their inclusion and diversity strategies, a topic close to her heart.
Sabina has also held a number of editorial roles at Harper's Bazaar, Cube Collective, and HighClouds.