After employees balked at Google’s aggressive return to work schedule, the online giant said that it would implement a flexible hybrid work model instead.
“For more than 20 years, our employees have been coming to the office to solve interesting problems — in a cafe, around a whiteboard, or during a pickup game of beach volleyball or cricket,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai writes in an announcement post about the changes. “Our campuses have been at the heart of our Google community and the majority of our employees still want to be on campus some of the time. Yet many of us would also enjoy the flexibility of working from home a couple of days per week, spending time in another city for part of the year, or even moving there permanently. Google’s future workplace will have room for all of these possibilities.”
Pichai says that Google is now testing hybrid workplace approaches that will help employees collaborate effectively no matter where they are. This testing has included new multi-purpose offices and private workspaces, plus the development of advanced video technology that it says “creates greater equity between employees in the office and those joining virtually.” Basically, Google is going to try and be more flexible.
This will include:
Flexible work weeks. Google will move to a hybrid work week where most employees spend approximately three days in the office and two days at home or elsewhere.
More locations globally. Google will invest in more office space around the globe so that employees have a choice in where they work when they come into the office.
Remote work. Google will allow many employees to work completely from home or some other remote location, though pay will be adjusted according to the cost of living in that area.
Overall, Google expects 60 percent of its employees to come into the office twice per week, with another 20 percent working in new office locations, and 20 percent working completely from home.
“I know this past year hasn’t been easy for anyone and many Googlers are still suffering as the pandemic wears on,” Mr. Pichai adds. “We will get through it — together — as a Google community … The future of work is flexibility.”