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Strategy A look inside LinkedIn's New York office, where employees enjoy perks like free gourmet meals and a speakeasy hidden in the Empire State Building (LNKD)

"We wanted people to feel like they're arriving at a destination."

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Here's what we saw when we recently visited. play

Here's what we saw when we recently visited.

(Sarah Jacobs)

In many ways, LinkedIn — a company that helps more than 500 million people in over 200 countries make professional connections and scout out new opportunities — has become an integral part of everyone's careers.

But what is it like for the more than 10,000 people who actually work at the company, which Microsoft bought for $26 billion in 2016?

Last summer, we decided to find out by visiting LinkedIn's Manhattan office, which is located in the iconic Empire State Building in the heart of New York City.

Here's what we saw and learned:

When we arrived at the office on a rainy Friday morning in October, we took one of the building's famous Art Deco elevators up to the 25th floor. Though LinkedIn is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, the company has 30 offices around the world. In total, 700 employees work in their Empire State Building location.

When we arrived at the office on a rainy Friday morning in October, we took one of the building's famous Art Deco elevators up to the 25th floor. Though LinkedIn is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, the company has 30 offices around the world. In total, 700 employees work in their Empire State Building location. play

When we arrived at the office on a rainy Friday morning in October, we took one of the building's famous Art Deco elevators up to the 25th floor. Though LinkedIn is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, the company has 30 offices around the world. In total, 700 employees work in their Empire State Building location.

(Sarah Jacobs)


We waited for our tour guides in LinkedIn's colorful reception area, which has books and a coffee station for employees and visitors.

We waited for our tour guides in LinkedIn's colorful reception area, which has books and a coffee station for employees and visitors. play

We waited for our tour guides in LinkedIn's colorful reception area, which has books and a coffee station for employees and visitors.

(Sarah Jacobs)


The company first moved into the Empire State Building in 2011. It's since taken over five and a half floors — 22, 23, half of 24, 25, 26 and 28 — of the building. Design firm IA Interior Architects worked on the 24th, 26th, and 28th floors.

The company first moved into the Empire State Building in 2011. It's since taken over five and a half floors — 22, 23, half of 24, 25, 26 and 28 — of the building. Design firm IA Interior Architects worked on the 24th, 26th, and 28th floors. play

The company first moved into the Empire State Building in 2011. It's since taken over five and a half floors — 22, 23, half of 24, 25, 26 and 28 — of the building. Design firm IA Interior Architects worked on the 24th, 26th, and 28th floors.

(Sarah Jacobs)


A few minutes after arriving, we were greeted by corporate communications manager Lindsay Kniffin, workplace manager Katie Campofelice, and learning and employee experience manager Nawal Fakhoury.

A few minutes after arriving, we were greeted by corporate communications manager Lindsay Kniffin, workplace manager Katie Campofelice, and learning and employee experience manager Nawal Fakhoury. play

A few minutes after arriving, we were greeted by corporate communications manager Lindsay Kniffin, workplace manager Katie Campofelice, and learning and employee experience manager Nawal Fakhoury.

(Sarah Jacobs)


One of our first stops was the office movie theater, where employees can watch films or battle it out in FIFA competitions.

One of our first stops was the office movie theater, where employees can watch films or battle it out in FIFA competitions. play

One of our first stops was the office movie theater, where employees can watch films or battle it out in FIFA competitions.

(Sarah Jacobs)


Walking out of the theater, we passed by a high-tech vending machine. Employees can access all sorts of work-related gadgets — like keyboards and chargers — with their LinkedIn employee badge.

Walking out of the theater, we passed by a high-tech vending machine. Employees can access all sorts of work-related gadgets — like keyboards and chargers — with their LinkedIn employee badge. play

Walking out of the theater, we passed by a high-tech vending machine. Employees can access all sorts of work-related gadgets — like keyboards and chargers — with their LinkedIn employee badge.

(Sarah Jacobs)


Next we headed to the kitchen. LinkedIn employees enjoy free, catered breakfasts and lunches every day. The company also offers spontaneous treats, like pop-up poké bars and cookie decorating stations.

Next we headed to the kitchen. LinkedIn employees enjoy free, catered breakfasts and lunches every day. The company also offers spontaneous treats, like pop-up poké bars and cookie decorating stations. play

Next we headed to the kitchen. LinkedIn employees enjoy free, catered breakfasts and lunches every day. The company also offers spontaneous treats, like pop-up poké bars and cookie decorating stations.

(Sarah Jacobs)


We visited LinkedIn on a what they call an "InDay" — a monthly event that offers LinkedIn employees the chance to participate in different activities and team-building exercises. Here, a group of workers are enjoying an intense game of "Lost Cities."

We visited LinkedIn on a what they call an "InDay" — a monthly event that offers LinkedIn employees the chance to participate in different activities and team-building exercises. Here, a group of workers are enjoying an intense game of "Lost Cities." play

We visited LinkedIn on a what they call an "InDay" — a monthly event that offers LinkedIn employees the chance to participate in different activities and team-building exercises. Here, a group of workers are enjoying an intense game of "Lost Cities."

(Sarah Jacobs)


"Our InDays really allow employees to pause, step away from their desks, and engage with LinkedIn life," Fakhoury says.

"Our InDays really allow employees to pause, step away from their desks, and engage with LinkedIn life," Fakhoury says. play

"Our InDays really allow employees to pause, step away from their desks, and engage with LinkedIn life," Fakhoury says.

(Sarah Jacobs)


For the event, LinkedIn brought in a HTC Vive headset and employees got to play Tilt Brush, a game which allows users to paint in a 3D space.

For the event, LinkedIn brought in a HTC Vive headset and employees got to play Tilt Brush, a game which allows users to paint in a 3D space. play

For the event, LinkedIn brought in a HTC Vive headset and employees got to play Tilt Brush, a game which allows users to paint in a 3D space.

(Sarah Jacobs)


Throughout the tour, we encountered some other cool perks — like a pool table, foosball tables, and a karaoke machine. Apparently, karaoke battles between LinkedIn offices — fought out over video chats — can get pretty competitive. "What we really want to do is get people together from different departments and different teams to form relationships," Campofelice says. "We're really creating a more collaborative environment."

Throughout the tour, we encountered some other cool perks — like a pool table, foosball tables, and a karaoke machine. Apparently, karaoke battles between LinkedIn offices — fought out over video chats — can get pretty competitive. "What we really want to do is get people together from different departments and different teams to form relationships," Campofelice says. "We're really creating a more collaborative environment." play

Throughout the tour, we encountered some other cool perks — like a pool table, foosball tables, and a karaoke machine. Apparently, karaoke battles between LinkedIn offices — fought out over video chats — can get pretty competitive. "What we really want to do is get people together from different departments and different teams to form relationships," Campofelice says. "We're really creating a more collaborative environment."

(Sarah Jacobs)


Next, we visited the 28th floor. The elevator doors opened to a bright blue, almost futuristic central lobby. It was one of the most striking locations of all. "We wanted people to feel like they're arriving at a destination," Campofelice says.

Next, we visited the 28th floor. The elevator doors opened to a bright blue, almost futuristic central lobby. It was one of the most striking locations of all. "We wanted people to feel like they're arriving at a destination," Campofelice says. play

Next, we visited the 28th floor. The elevator doors opened to a bright blue, almost futuristic central lobby. It was one of the most striking locations of all. "We wanted people to feel like they're arriving at a destination," Campofelice says.

(Sarah Jacobs)


After passing through the blue hall, we entered a reception area with a wall displaying LinkedIn's principles. "From the moment you step into this space, our values are on the wall," Campofelice told Business Insider.

After passing through the blue hall, we entered a reception area with a wall displaying LinkedIn's principles. "From the moment you step into this space, our values are on the wall," Campofelice told Business Insider. play

After passing through the blue hall, we entered a reception area with a wall displaying LinkedIn's principles. "From the moment you step into this space, our values are on the wall," Campofelice told Business Insider.

(Sarah Jacobs)


When it comes to conference room names, each floor has a different theme, including New York City street names and former SNL cast members.

When it comes to conference room names, each floor has a different theme, including New York City street names and former SNL cast members. play

When it comes to conference room names, each floor has a different theme, including New York City street names and former SNL cast members.

(Sarah Jacobs)


The main office space features an open layout. LinkedIn's workspace is malleable, featuring panels that employees can slide and adjust.

The main office space features an open layout. LinkedIn's workspace is malleable, featuring panels that employees can slide and adjust. play

The main office space features an open layout. LinkedIn's workspace is malleable, featuring panels that employees can slide and adjust.

(Sarah Jacobs)


Employees frequently move around between their desks and favorite spots around the office ...

Employees frequently move around between their desks and favorite spots around the office ... play

Employees frequently move around between their desks and favorite spots around the office ...

(Sarah Jacobs)


... like this one ...

... like this one ... play

... like this one ...

(Sarah Jacobs)


... and this one.

... and this one. play

... and this one.

(Sarah Jacobs)


This lounge area is one particular hot spot. We were surprised to find a fireplace here. It burns gas, so there's no smoke to worry about.

This lounge area is one particular hot spot. We were surprised to find a fireplace here. It burns gas, so there's no smoke to worry about. play

This lounge area is one particular hot spot. We were surprised to find a fireplace here. It burns gas, so there's no smoke to worry about.

(Sarah Jacobs)


If you really want a quiet space, you can come to the office's library. The shelves are filled with books that employees brought from home.

If you really want a quiet space, you can come to the office's library. The shelves are filled with books that employees brought from home. play

If you really want a quiet space, you can come to the office's library. The shelves are filled with books that employees brought from home.

(Sarah Jacobs)


As we left the library, we came across this colorful mural — one of many we encountered throughout our tour.

As we left the library, we came across this colorful mural — one of many we encountered throughout our tour. play

As we left the library, we came across this colorful mural — one of many we encountered throughout our tour.

(Sarah Jacobs)


Other fun art we spotted: the wall of pets. Employees aren't permitted to bring animals to work due to the building's policy. As a result, the workplace team at LinkedIn's Manhattan office established a pet wall, featuring photos of workers' furry friends.

Other fun art we spotted: the wall of pets. Employees aren't permitted to bring animals to work due to the building's policy. As a result, the workplace team at LinkedIn's Manhattan office established a pet wall, featuring photos of workers' furry friends. play

Other fun art we spotted: the wall of pets. Employees aren't permitted to bring animals to work due to the building's policy. As a result, the workplace team at LinkedIn's Manhattan office established a pet wall, featuring photos of workers' furry friends.

(Sarah Jacobs)


We also visited a "flashback" wall. Keeping with LinkedIn's focus on careers, employees submitted their baby photos, along with blurbs about what they wanted to be when they grew up.

We also visited a "flashback" wall. Keeping with LinkedIn's focus on careers, employees submitted their baby photos, along with blurbs about what they wanted to be when they grew up. play

We also visited a "flashback" wall. Keeping with LinkedIn's focus on careers, employees submitted their baby photos, along with blurbs about what they wanted to be when they grew up.

(Sarah Jacobs)


One of the most intriguing spots in the office was this mysterious wall, which is decorated with 133 rotary phones. Picking up and hanging up the correct phone will give you access to the room behind the wall — but only LinkedIn employees know which one.

One of the most intriguing spots in the office was this mysterious wall, which is decorated with 133 rotary phones. Picking up and hanging up the correct phone will give you access to the room behind the wall — but only LinkedIn employees know which one. play

One of the most intriguing spots in the office was this mysterious wall, which is decorated with 133 rotary phones. Picking up and hanging up the correct phone will give you access to the room behind the wall — but only LinkedIn employees know which one.

(Sarah Jacobs)


Inside, there's a speakeasy. It's a popular spot for get togethers like baby showers and surprise birthday parties. Here, LinkedIn also hosts "Beers for My Peers" every Thursday night. The program encourages everyone in the office to swing by the speakeasy, where new hires act as bartenders. "What we'll do to really officially bring them into LinkedIn's culture — and, of course, give them 200 new friends in under 60 minutes — is we'll actually have them be the ones serving the beer and wine. That way they can meet new people, build new relationships, and get introduced to LinkedIn's awesome culture," Fakhoury told Business Insider.

Inside, there's a speakeasy. It's a popular spot for get togethers like baby showers and surprise birthday parties. Here, LinkedIn also hosts "Beers for My Peers" every Thursday night. The program encourages everyone in the office to swing by the speakeasy, where new hires act as bartenders. "What we'll do to really officially bring them into LinkedIn's culture — and, of course, give them 200 new friends in under 60 minutes — is we'll actually have them be the ones serving the beer and wine. That way they can meet new people, build new relationships, and get introduced to LinkedIn's awesome culture," Fakhoury told Business Insider. play

Inside, there's a speakeasy. It's a popular spot for get togethers like baby showers and surprise birthday parties. Here, LinkedIn also hosts "Beers for My Peers" every Thursday night. The program encourages everyone in the office to swing by the speakeasy, where new hires act as bartenders. "What we'll do to really officially bring them into LinkedIn's culture — and, of course, give them 200 new friends in under 60 minutes — is we'll actually have them be the ones serving the beer and wine. That way they can meet new people, build new relationships, and get introduced to LinkedIn's awesome culture," Fakhoury told Business Insider.

(Sarah Jacobs)


One interesting design feature: the office has a ribbon of blue millwork that runs throughout the 28th floor, connecting various amenity zones. According to our tour guide, this reflects the office's focus on connectivity.

One interesting design feature: the office has a ribbon of blue millwork that runs throughout the 28th floor, connecting various amenity zones. According to our tour guide, this reflects the office's focus on connectivity. play

One interesting design feature: the office has a ribbon of blue millwork that runs throughout the 28th floor, connecting various amenity zones. According to our tour guide, this reflects the office's focus on connectivity.

(Sarah Jacobs)


One of our very last stops was the gym. Employees don't have to leave the building to exercise. The office gym offers boot camp, barre, yoga, and group fitness classes. According to Kniffin, the perks are all about rewarding hard work and providing employees with a comfortable environment.

One of our very last stops was the gym. Employees don't have to leave the building to exercise. The office gym offers boot camp, barre, yoga, and group fitness classes. According to Kniffin, the perks are all about rewarding hard work and providing employees with a comfortable environment. play

One of our very last stops was the gym. Employees don't have to leave the building to exercise. The office gym offers boot camp, barre, yoga, and group fitness classes. According to Kniffin, the perks are all about rewarding hard work and providing employees with a comfortable environment.

(Sarah Jacobs)


We concluded our tour back on the 25th floor, where we recapped what we saw with the tour guides. "We really believe that a workplace is the physical embodiment of a culture," Campofelice told Business Insider.

We concluded our tour back on the 25th floor, where we recapped what we saw with the tour guides. "We really believe that a workplace is the physical embodiment of a culture," Campofelice told Business Insider. play

We concluded our tour back on the 25th floor, where we recapped what we saw with the tour guides. "We really believe that a workplace is the physical embodiment of a culture," Campofelice told Business Insider.

(Sarah Jacobs)

Can't get enough of the Manhattan LinkedIn office? Check out Business Insider's Facebook Live tour of the space as well.

Jacquelyn Smith contributed to a previous version of this story.