While many Americans spend their days in a sea of cubes, people who work at tech companies in New York spend their time in custom built workplace palaces — or at least workplace-playgrounds. Forget cubicles and break rooms, we're talking amusement park level themed rooms, game rooms, on-site chefs, full bars and views of the city that tourists will pay for only a glimpse of. This is what it looks like to work at seven of New York's swankiest tech companies:
DigitalOcean provides cloud infrastructure that provisions virtual servers for developers. Their Soho offices are so modern that their elevators have no buttons — they just magically whisk you to the correct floor. And look at that view!
Look at that view! It's weird to watch the madness on the street, yet have it be so quiet up here. How long have you been in this space? We moved into the building in September 2014. We completed the buildout on the 11th floor in July 2015.
It seems really big. We have a total of 45,000-square-feet, 32,000-square-feet of which is actual working space. The other 13,000-square-feet are dedicated to our internal and external community spaces. We currently have 55 percent of our staff in the NYC DOHQ for a total of 140 people.
Well, the build-out looks great. What's your favorite part? The space consists of multiple pockets of breakout space. These are areas designated for getting away from your desk and enjoying the view from a different seat and setting!
Is there anything you wish the space had? Showers! We could host midday or early morning workout sessions if we had a place for people to wash the sweat!
Maybe you could get Mini Me in on the action! Are you, by any chance, doing any hiring? We are definitely hiring!
Justworks has a platform that lets HR teams automate things like payroll, benefits and compliance. Their offices are also in the Flatiron District, on a block stuffed with bars, restaurants and tea shops. Between the huge windows, natural light, high ceilings and comfy couches, this place is just like my dream house — all it needs is a bar.
Is that a bar!
When did you move into the space? The end of October in 2015.
So, it's still kind of new. How large is it? We have 16,800-square-feet with 118 people — we've quickly grown out of the space.
I suppose that's a good problem to have! What’s your favorite part of the space? It's so open and bright with windows and our super high ceilings.
Is there anything you wish the space had, but doesn't? Hammocks, a pool and a barista (basically a resort with a tiki bar).
Any chance you're hiring? Yes!
Stack Overflow is a hugely popular website where software developers can learn, share and find a new job. Their offices in the Financial District are huge — insanely so, considering their prime location. Although their offices are in a part of town you'd usually put a suit on to visit, you'd be the only person there not wearing a t-shirt and jeans. It must really piss the bankers off that the guy wearing shorts and boat shoes to work is getting a gourmet lunch prepared by in-house chefs everyday.
How long have you been in this space? We moved into our current location at 110 William Street on March 25, 2013.
This place seems massive, how big is it? Between our two and a half floors of office space, we occupy 38,000-square-feet. Our 103 employees here have plenty of room!
I think I'd get lost in here. What's your favorite part? Personally, my favorite area of the office is our Snack Overflow wall, a floor to ceiling bounty of treats for those 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. pick-me-ups. I also really enjoy the menus our chefs put up for lunchtime — I like to say it was actually the Bob's Burgers style puns that sold me on working here.
Your chefs are the things of legend at the Built In NYC office. Seriously, send them our love.
What else is cool around here? My less culinary-focused coworkers might say things like 'our incredible view of the Brooklyn Bridge from the coffee bar,' or 'our couch cubbies that allow for a comfortable work space away from a desk,' or 'the FIFA area outside sales where you can nearly always find a game in progress at 5 o' clock...'
What don't you have? We need a room full of puppies!!! Our one weakness is that our building has a pretty strict 'no animals' rule.
Ya, I guess there's a downside to such close proximity to so many people in suits. We almost certainly have never snuck a dog past security... Luckily our Office Managers play livestreams of rescue pups on our lunchroom's projector screens for those in need of their canine fix.
Well, I'm sold. Are you hiring? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!
LittleBits makes easy-to-use electronic building blocks that let you create all sorts of fun, creative things. Their offices are a tinkerer's dream. Located out by Hudson Yards, their employees get to play with toys at work, while enjoying a view of the Hudson. And yes, that last photo is of a 'Drinkerbot'.
So, from what I've heard, for tinkerers at least, this is the most fun office in Manhattan. When did you move in? In October of 2014.
How much space do you have? It's about 18,000-square-feet, with a little over 100 employees.
Other than all the gadgets, what’s your favorite part of the space? The lounge — it has great light, comfortable couches, with views of the Hudson. We hold team meetings there every week, occasionally interrupted to watch helicopters land at the heliport nearby.
What do you really wish you had in the space, but don’t? Dog doors on the conference rooms.
Are you hiring? Yes!
Animoto's software makes it so that ordinary people can turn photos and videos into HD videos that people actually want to watch. Their offices are basically on top of Astor Place and are as eclectic as the neighborhood that surrounds them. Their breakout spaces are themed, including the 'Camelot' themed conference room pictured below. I'm not sure why the conference table isn't round, but it seems a forgivable oversight considering how elaborately decorated the place is. My personal favorite part of the office — besides the fact that the fridge was stocked with Anheuser-Busch's 'America' beer — was the surfboard someone was storing in the bike rack.
Wow, you must have a lot of people here that can play the guitar. How long have you been in this space? We moved into the space in 2012.
It's pretty cool that you can fit a stage, a pingpong table and a surfboard in here. How big is the space? Our office is approximately 15,000-square-feet and we've got about 70 people working here.
This is a really fun space. I now know what it's like to be a knight sitting at the square table.
What's your favorite part of the space? We refer to the front of our offices that face Lafayette Street as 'The Atrium.' It's a large open space with lots of big windows and natural light — we have it laid out with communal lunch tables, an open format kitchen, and a space for doing presentations or hosting events. It encourages employees to get up from their desks to socialize during the day — and sometimes even stick around at night for fun meet-ups.
Is there anything you wish the space had? We actually have a cohort of employees that have been trying to figure out the logistics of turning one of our conference rooms into a ball pit.
Actually, are you hiring? Yes!
PolicyGenius is bringing the insurance industry online and putting the consumer back in the power-position. They also have an adorable French Bulldog running around their offices. PolicyGenius was nice enough to give us a peak at their existing offices, but they're growing so quickly that even if you do manage to land a job here, you'll likely never see it in person. They're moving to bigger, swankier digs in Manhattan in a month. We'll be sure and get you a sneak peak as soon as they can get us in with a photographer. Until then, their existing space is pretty sweet.
So, I hear you guys are moving soon? We are leaving our current offices at the coworking space GreenDesk in Williamsburg, at the end of May this year. We launched PolicyGenius in these offices as a team of 5, working out of a single 4-person office about the size of a walk in closet.
Wow, talk about a coworking success story. How big have you grown to? Our team of 32 now occupies five offices in our coworking space and more than 1,500-square-feet. We share the space with several other great companies, and hundreds of startup entrepreneurs.
What’s been your favorite part of this space? Our space offers a beautiful roof deck with 360-degree views of midtown and downtown Manhattan, along with the Williamsburg Bridge.
Let's say you're dreaming — what would this space have? While we would really love a swimming pool on the roof, the fact of the matter is, we need a space of our own. So, we’ll be moving to the eighth floor of 22 W. 19th St. at the end of May and couldn’t be more excited about the new space.
I'm gonna go ahead and guess the new office isn't going to have a pool on the roof. What are you most excited for in the new space? We’re excited to have an open floor plan with standing desk islands and breakout rooms for collaboration along with our own cafeteria and video game center for catch-ups. The space has been built out to be uniquely PolicyGenius, and will include themed conference rooms and even specialized names for our bathrooms that are true to our sense of humor.
I assume your big move means you'll be doing some hiring? Yes!
Betterment is an online investment company that gives users personalized financial advice. Their offices in the Flatiron District are basically on top of Madison Square Park. As bustling as the neighborhood is, the offices themselves were incredibly relaxed — I'd even go so far as to say serene. Let's just say that someone was napping in the dedicated nap room, which happened to be located across from a beautiful kitchen where an on-site chef was preparing the team a meal.
I love that everyone is hanging out in the kitchen. It gives the office a homey feel. How long have you been in the space? We been here since August of 2013.
So you've had time to settle in. How big is the office? Each of our three floors is about 7,800-square-feet.
I have to be honest, I'm incredibly jealous of this kitchen. It looks like something from the Cooking Channel. What's your favorite part of the space? The open layout which promotes a lot of internal communication and productivity.
Is there anything this place is missing? An escalator to travel between the floors!
Are you hiring? YES!