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Work-From-Home May Be Efficient, But Google Says Get Back To Offices Anyway


Work-From-Home May Be Efficient, But Google Says Get Back To Offices Anyway

July 16, 2021 By Dees Stribling, Bisnow National 

Despite reports that Google engineers believe they are as productive working at home as they used to be in the office, the tech giant is sticking with plans to bring most of its employees back to their offices much of the time.

Google wants much of its workforce, about 60%, to return to physical offices three days a week, starting in September. The matter was the subject of a memo and then an open blog post by CEO Sundar Pichai in May.

He said in the post that 20% could work at home full time, while the other 20% could apply for a transfer to another Google office. Google is reviewing applications from employees regarding their work situations come September.

“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,” Pichai wrote, acknowledging that some employees want to work from home much of the time, from another city part of the time, or even permanently, though under Google’s policies, a transfer to a cheaper cost-of-living city can mean a pay cut.

More recently, Google software engineers reported that they felt as productive working from home as they did before the coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg reports. That might point to some resistance to a return to centralized offices, part of a larger struggle ongoing between employers who favor a return to offices and employees who grew to prefer working remotely during the pandemic.

“Google and Apple have some of the best offices,” Evan Hock, who co-founded MakeMyMove.com, an online directory for remote work, told Bloomberg. “If they’re dealing with [a reluctance to return], it’s safe to assume that everyone else will be too.”

In the meantime, Google is proceeding with well-established plans to expand its physical office space. In May, Google’s Downtown West campus in San Jose, California, was approved by the city council.

The tech giant’s plans for the 80-acre site near San Jose’s Diridon Station began in 2017. With a development agreement reached in April and approval in May, plans for 7.3M SF of office, 4,000 housing units, 15 acres of parks, plazas and open space, a 100K SF event venue with a 300-room hotel, and space for other uses can proceed.

In 2020, tech was also something of a saving grace for the Manhattan office market, with Google, Facebook and Amazon all taking massive chunks of office space even as smaller companies retreated from the market.

Full article by Dees Stribling: https://www.bisnow.com/national/news/office/work-from-home-might-be-efficient-but-google-says-get-back-to-offices-anyway-109583