Linde Locations #1: A new home in New Jersey

Location: Linde Americas HQ, 200 Somerset Corporate Blvd, Bridgewater, Somerset County, NJ, USA For the first in our series of deep dives into Linde locations around the world, we take a trip to The Garden State, where Linde Americas HQ has recently upgraded. Communications Specialist and HQ resident Vinita Abraham tells us all about life in the brand new Bridgewater building and explains everything from “cube manners” to “huddle rooms”!

The move…

In June 2016, we said goodbye to Murray Hill, at New Providence, New Jersey, where the Linde Americas Regional Headquarters had been located since the 1940s. The building was old and we had outgrown it. But not only that: it was also a strategic move. We wanted our HQ to reflect our image and attract employees and so we went for a newer, state-of-the-art building at the Somerset Corporate Centre, located in Bridgewater, NJ. Now we are in close proximity to other big companies like Johnson & Johnson and the Linde name and branding is really out there! We left Murray Hill on a Friday and started here on a Monday where we were greeted with coffee and donuts. Turns out, it was a great first day! 

The area…

New Jersey, or ‘The Garden State’ is the 4th smallest, 11th most populous and the 3rd wealthiest state in the US! It has a rich history of Native Americans and settlers which means it has great cultural diversity. Bridgewater is a township of around 44,500 people that also reflects that diversity. It’s really mixed, very cosmopolitan and is also said to have one of the best school systems in the state. If you were to draw a circle around all our employees’ homes, Bridgewater would probably be in the center – it’s really well connected. And then you have Jersey City and New York City pretty nearby too.

Image showing the outside of Linde's American headquarters in New Jersey
Image showing working cubes at Linde's American headquarters in New Jersey

The building…

The building is pretty new. It’s glass-fronted, bright, airy and spacious. The views are really picturesque. We share the building with Mazda and Cognizant, an IT company. The canteen, or the cafeteria as it is called here, serves pretty good food at reasonable rates. There’s also a gym on the ground floor that we can all use. The building houses all core functions: I’m on the 6th floor with the rest of corporate functions. Also, the building is surrounded by walking trails where you can take a walk through the woodland.

The working environment…

Apart from the top level executives, everybody works in “cubes”. That might sound a bit weird, so let me explain! They’re basically small partitioned offices in rows of three. There’s a lot of desk space, and really comfortable chairs! Standing desks are catching on more and more now and it is not unusual to find one either in somebody’s cube or room. When in the cube, it’s important to remember your “cube manners”. This includes talking with your “cube voice” – keeping it low, being respectful of others and using your headset for calls. If we need a quick ad hoc meeting, we can use “huddle rooms” – small meeting rooms that you can’t book in advance.

The social aspect…

Each floor has its own kitchenette – and that’s where the “water cooler talk” happens! I have to say, we have awesome coffee – which is very important to me! Mostly we socialize at lunchtime though. If we don’t eat in the canteen, we often car pool to eat in the nearby mall or a neighboring town. The Bridgewater Commons mall is one of New Jersey’s biggest and you can find every type of food under the sun there! And then of course there’s the usual bars and restaurants in Bridgewater itself.

The best bits...

One main difference between Murray Hill and here is that we now have covered car parking spaces! It may not sound like that big a deal, but this is New Jersey and we do get hit with pretty heavy snow storms at times! It is always a hard task when you have to spend time out in the freezing weather scraping snow and ice off your car before heading home! And finally, what I really like about this building is the fact that we have way more contact with other colleagues throughout the day than we did before.

And lastly, did you know…

New Jersey has more horses per square mile than any other state! Pretty random, and not really anything to do with Linde, but still quite interesting!

Vinita Abraham works in Corporate Communications at Linde US in New Jersey. She studied at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in New Delhi, India and completed her Masters in Communications and Information Studies at Rutgers University – the state university of New Jersey. Vinita joined Linde in 2010. When not working, she spends her time with her family and tries to catch up on her reading.

Image showing kitchen and common area at Linde's American headquarters in New Jersey