Working at Google might not be all fun and games, as several former employees explained in a Quora thread earlier this year, but there’s no question that the perks offered by the company are virtually unrivaled in the industry.
One of the coolest perks for creative Googlers who want to express themselves has to be The Garage — a collaborative workshop through which Business Insider was lucky enough to take a tour earlier this month.
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As Google tells it, The Garage began life in 2008 inside of a cubicle when a group of Googlers needed a space to work during their “20% time” — time set aside to work on pet projects employees think might benefit the company. By 2012, Google had set aside space for The Garage and began filling it with tools.
Today, The Garage is absolutely packed with equipment, from 3D printers to shop vacs to sewing machines to a CNC milling machine. While touring the facility with director of open source and Garage manager Chris DiBona, Business Insider actually stumbled upon a machine that DiBona hadn’t seen in The Garage before, which shows you just how often new tools make their way in.
Although Google has several machine shops restricted to authorized employees, The Garage is open to everyone. The company regularly hosts events in The Garage, including “design sprints,” which task employees with building a product to solve a problem in a very limited amount of time.
It’s an incredible facility, and one worth seeing with your own eyes over at Business Insider.