YouTube’s Coolest Employees Show Us Around Their Rad HQ

If we’re ever in need of a quick, virtual respite from our work (shhh, don’t tell!) — YouTube is our private, online panic room of sorts. One click and we’re lost in a hilarious voyage of "Charlie Bit My Finger," "Gangnam Style," "Keyboard Cat," and other cult-classic videos that bring on that ear-to-ear grin.
So, you can bet we were hell-bent on peering into the palatial San Bruno HQ to see where all the magic happens. Not only were our mouths agape while checking out the wild digs (does your office have a fun slide and mini-golf course?), we also met six stylish, whip-smart employees along the way. From the fresh eats to the innovative BrandLab, see for yourself why YouTube is a literal hub of inspiration. Get ready for a dose of major office envy!
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Photographed by Michelle Drewes
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Bird's-eye view! Ready to peek into the inspired YouTube HQ? Let's do this!
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A glimpse at the top-secret interior of YouTube's BrandLab, a place where the company hosts workshops to help brands build a bigger video presence.
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Name: Danielle Tiedt
Position: CMO
Hood: Cole Valley
Favorite YouTube Channel: Vice

Tell us more about your role at YouTube.
"I run the marketing team."

What do you love most about working at YouTube?
"I love that we are empowering the world through video. We are this amazing platform for creativity, learning, and free expression that is changing the world in so many ways."

What’s the most memorable moment you’ve had while working here?
"My first VidCon, where I got to feel the unbelievable passion of all of our fans."

Any favorite users or creators?
"I have too many to name, so I will just list a couple of the ones that you might not have heard of, so that you can go check them out. I love Hikakin Beatbox TV, Written by a Kid, Above Average, Dance On, and Husbands.

Danielle hangs out in the BrandLab in J Brand jeans, Corso Como shoes, and 9-H15 STCL shirt.
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Everyone here seems so fun — what’s the wackiest thing that’s happened while you’ve been at YouTube?
"Having to dress in the costume that the YouTube organization picked for me for Halloween and then having to present in it. I was a yellow Teletubbie!"

What’s your favorite feature or perk on campus?
"Great food!"

An overview glance of YouTube's stellar lobby! We wouldn't mind waiting around in here.
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What’s your guiltiest YouTube pleasure?
"'Leeroy Jenkins' — it just never gets old!"

Seeing red — this sign greets you in the lobby.
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How would you describe your style?
"I would describe it as business eclectic!"

What’s your go-to work outfit?
"Jeans, T-shirt, blazer, and heels."

Seating in the BrandLab: This is where the magic happens, guys. Peep those light fixtures!
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Gather 'round! ! A device-filled campfire in the BrandLab. Now, where are those s'mores...
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One of the office's tube-ular hallways!
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Even the cafeteria is snazzy. Love the mellow-yellow theme.
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Name: Kavita Shah
Position: Media Revenue Operations
Hood: Russian Hill
Favorite YouTube Channel: National Geographic

Tell us more about your role at YouTube.
"I project manage sales tools and processes for what’s called the 'reservation’ side of the business and help launch and commercialize new YouTube products and sales initiatives."

What do you love most about working at YouTube?
"I love that YouTube has a startup feel about it. Because it’s smaller than the rest of Google, you get to see and know the people around you — and when I say ‘I sit near the putting green,’ they know what I mean."

What’s your go-to work outfit?
"Ankle-cropped colored jeans or trousers, a chunky statement necklace, and a button-down blouse. Flats or espadrilles — not trying to get some hammer toes — you know?"

Kavita lounges in the dining area in a Banana Republic dress, Toss necklace, and Zara belt.
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What’s the most memorable moment you’ve had while working here?
"I’ve been lucky to have spent some time with our BrandLab team, who works with big clients to provide YouTube brand solutions. There have been so many memorable moments listening to clients open up and describe their unique aspirations and challenges; it’s pretty amazing."

Yes, those are mussels! Talk about a gourmet menu!
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We are obsessed with all the tasty treats here — what’s your favorite thing to chow down on?
"Coconut water and Oreos. Not together, however. Call me old fashioned, but there is no better afternoon pick-me-up than some milk and Oreos."

Is your mouth watering yet?
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How would you describe your style?
"I’ve gotten ‘grandma chic’ from my friends — and for some reason, I don’t hate it. You can never have too many cardis."

Say you only could watch one YouTube video for the rest of your life — what would it be?
"'Corgi Belly Flop'! YouTube it."

Even the wallpaper in the cafeteria is top-notch!
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Everyone here seems so fun — what’s the wackiest thing that’s happened while you’ve been at YouTube?
"I'm torn between the time I saw Joseph Gordon Levitt flying down the YouTube slide and the time I heard Morgan Freeman’s voice, looked up, and saw Morgan Freeman. The legend is real, people."

Does your office have a tiki bar (manned by Darth Vader!)? Didn't think so.
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What’s your favorite feature or perk of the campus?
"It may sound boring, but the shuttles to work are pretty clutch. I step outside my apartment in the morning, walk 20 steps and am instantly online. Saves me from some morning road rage."

What’s your guiltiest YouTube pleasure?
"'Trololo Sing Along!'"

If YouTubers feel the urge to take a dip during the day, they totally can. Talk about perks.
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Name: Tessa Pompa
Position: People Operations Associate
Hood: Inner Richmond
Favorite YouTube Channel: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

Tell us more about your role at YouTube.
"As a People Operations Associate, I support the HR Business Partners at YouTube, and also at Google Fiber, two days a week, in their quest to make our YouTubers the happiest and healthiest employees around. Our team is responsible for facilitating core HR processes like performance reviews, compensation planning, and promotions, as well as our clients’ day-to-day needs. We also coordinate many of the learning and development opportunities at YouTube, which is one of my favorite parts of the job. The 'never stop learning and growing' culture is pretty remarkable."

What do you love most about working at YouTube?
"Hands down: the people. I work with some of the smartest, most hardworking, quirkiest people around. Whenever I have questions or am seeking guidance on something, I can go to them. And, just as important, whenever I need someone to cheer me up or make me laugh, I can go to them. My amazing team, coupled with the opportunities they help create for me, makes me excited to come to work each day."

Tessa kicks it poolside in a J.Crew skirt, Zara shirt, and Halogen shoes.
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What’s the most memorable moment you’ve had while working here?
"I will never forget the first All Hands meeting I went to as an employee. I sat there in awe, listening to these remarkable stats and visions for transforming how people consume media, learn, teach, and understand. It finally sank in that I work for a company that is changing the world as we know it — and that, in my own small capacity, I’m facilitating that change, too. That’s a pretty cool feeling."

Dive in!
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Any favorite users or creators you are currently into?
"I’m really into Tastemade these days. The Sorted Food guys are so cute and their food looks amazing!"

That, friends, is an in-office slide. It doesn't get much cooler than that.
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Everyone here seems so fun — what’s the wackiest thing that’s happened while you’ve been at YouTube?
"I somehow got my entire team to go roller skating at a super old-school rink a few weeks ago. That was pretty entertaining."

YouTube vids play in the lobby while you wait. Also, note the massage chair in the corner.
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What’s your favorite feature or perk of the campus?
"Really smart, cool people are always just a desk away. I think that’s the best perk any employee can ask for."

What’s your guiltiest YouTube pleasure?
"The majority of the videos I watch are of puppies, and I feel no guilt about it. This one is great and accurately sums up how I feel most days."

A light-soaked nook for peeps to work!
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Name: Nicky Rettke
Position: Product Manager, YouTube Monetization
Hood: Nopa
Favorite YouTube Channel: GoProCamera

Tell us more about your role at YouTube.
"I work closely with the engineering and user experience teams to design and develop the ad formats for all of YouTube’s properties — desktop, mobile, TV, and game consoles. Our goal is to help YouTube creators to make a living off of YouTube, through ads that users actually like watching!"

What do you love most about working at YouTube?
"I think that YouTube has had an incredible impact on the world by letting people connect with an audience. I’m also constantly impressed, inspired, and amused by my co-workers, which is what I love most about working here."

Nicky hangs in front of some YouTube video stills. Do you recognize any of the vids?
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Everyone here seems so fun — what’s the wackiest thing that’s happened while you’ve been at YouTube?
"My sister is also a product manager for YouTube and a ton of people get us confused. In my first two months of working at YouTube, I’m pretty sure most people thought we were the same person, so we’ve had some funny mix-ups."

All of the conference rooms have cheeky names! On the first floor, they are named after video games and on the second, after memes, like this Chuck Norris gem here.
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What’s your guiltiest YouTube pleasure?
"I love 'Goats on Trampolines' and 'Screaming Like Humans'.

R29 at the Zoo! This is where the Zoo department (creatives, strategists, technologists, producers, and program managers) develop content for advertisers and work their magic.
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We bet you didn't think this office could get more impressive, did you? The ante has just been upped — there is golfing! It's serious.
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Name: Bethann Stenseth
Position: Partner Operations, Partner Development Specialist
Hood: Downtown Mountain View
Favorite YouTube Channel: Mr. Kate

Tell us more about your role at YouTube.
"I work with creators of fashion and music channels to develop their channels and audiences."

What’s the most memorable moment you’ve had while working here?
"Volunteering with the Women of YouTube for Girls On the Run. Seeing how accomplished these little cuties felt when they crossed the finish line filled my heart with joy. I hope they all get athletic scholarships to good schools so they can major in math or science."

Bethann putting around in a Free People dress, BCBG blazer, Zara shoes, and BaubleBar jewelry.
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What do you love most about working at YouTube?
"The inspiring people I get to work with. Both my colleagues and the partners I manage are incredibly talented and clever."

What’s your favorite feature or perk of the campus?
"The gym, especially yoga classes."

A cozy corner in the BrandLab!
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Everyone here seems so fun — what’s the wackiest thing that’s happened while you’ve been at YouTube?
"One day, the entire company met outside to do the Harlem shake. There were hundreds of us dancing together — it was ultimate YouTube unity."

This Alex Pardee mural is definitely one of a kind!
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Name: Kate Mason
Position: Global Communications Manager
Hood: Hayes Valley
Tell us more about your role at YouTube.
"I work on the communications team here in San Bruno."

What do you love most about working at YouTube?
"For sure it’s the people: Wherever you work there are always good and bad days, but if you have a great team, then it’s pleasurable no matter what."

What’s the most memorable moment you’ve had while working here?
"Probably seeing my boss dressed up in a full-body Gumby costume on Halloween. Priceless."

Any favorite users or creators you are currently into?
"Hundreds of them! It’s literally my job to watch YouTube videos and to notice trends in them. I’m currently obsessed by the beautiful ‘Draw My Life’ series — Ryan Higa’s and Jenna Marbles’ are two good examples — which creators are using to tell their life story through pictures. So beautiful."

Kate in front of a mural painted by fellow YouTuber Jeben Berg in a Madewell dress and shoes, and ASOS belt and shirt.
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Say you only could watch one YouTube video for the rest of your life — what would it be?
"I’d cheat and probably set it to my favorite channel instead to get a bit of variety. I think I’d use Community Channel — Natalie Tran is hilarious and is my Sydney homegirl. I love her."

What’s your favorite feature or perk of the campus?
"I love eating outside at lunchtime. It’s so warm and sunny and really rejuvenating after a morning in front of my laptop."

And, that's all she wrote! Even the outside of the building is eye-catching!
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