Google was one of the first large companies to move its workforce from its offices in the early days of the pandemic, but is now calling employees again. Some of them say they do not intend to return.
At a time when technology companies such as Microsoft and Twitter announced that they would allow employees to work from home permanently, Google has resisted the transition to work completely remotely, and employees say that there is a growing sense of frustration among a faction of the workforce. Read also Cameras and apps spot zombies – that’s how managers monitor their remote employees Even after the Corona epidemic ends … Twitter employees will not return to their offices Do you feel pressure? .. Maybe the reason lies in the bad technology Zuckerberg is reshaping Silicon Valley … Facebook’s new business culture for the Corona era
That frustration spilled over into social media last week, as Chris Broad foot, a programmer at Google, wrote Thursday, “I spoke to quite a few colleagues at Google and they said they would quit if they were forced back into the office in September.”
Several other employees joined the conversation to share their opinion, and some said they might look for another job if Google forces them to return to the offices.
Six current Google employees – who spoke to Insider – shared the same sentiment and said they know their colleagues who have taken steps to permanently work remotely during the pandemic. They requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.
“A lot of my colleagues have left with no real intention to return,” said one of those employees.
Another said that at least two employees in their group had made permanent measures of their way of life during the epidemic, expecting not to return to the office even if asked to do so.
Google told employees that they are expected to return to offices by September 2021, but last December the company said it would try a new flexible arrangement where employees are expected to work out of the office 3 days a week. Advertising
The company has provided some specific details of the new arrangement, and employees are pressing officials for answers. Google has never said that it will offer remote work completely to anyone who wants it, but with the deadline to return to offices pushed back, some employees have made arrangements to continue working remotely anyway, betting that Google will eventually follow other companies that allow employees to work from home. permanently. Facebook announced last year that it would start allowing employees to work remotely.
“There are employees who are already leaving because they don’t want to wait until September. They want to go on with their lives,” said one employee.
A Google spokesman said the company would do a series of tests about working remotely, but said nothing had changed in terms of current policy.
And if the company’s opinion polls are to be believed, many Google employees want to return to the office. In an internal survey last year, 62% of Google employees said they want to return, although only 8% said they would like to do so full time.
Over the past few months, CEO Sandar Pichai has offered other hints that Google is considering a flexible timeframe when employees return. Since then, questions have been asked about leadership ideas on how to work remotely.
At one session last October, Pichai said he saw the majority of Google’s employee roles still be linked to an office, but said the company plans to expand the number of “central” offices in order to give employees more flexibility in the way they work.
Since then, employees have pressed the lead in order to clarify how flexible Google would like it to be, and whether the 3-day office rule will be applied equally across the company, but they say they are not getting answers.
During the company’s first-quarter earnings announcement this week, Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said that Alphabet intends to spend $ 7 billion in offices and data centers in 2021.
“We value bringing people together in the office. We look at a mixed model for working from home and at the office,” she told an analyst.
Google may lose its employees
While some wait for answers about what they will look like, some employees take the initiative and walk away from their desks, while others do not see the need to go to the office until 3 days a week.
Justin Pickworth, director of engineering at Google, tweeted, “I have no intention of returning to Seattle every day, I can move from meeting to meeting via video calls.” “At the moment, I run people from 8 cities spread over 5 time zones. Why should I be in an office?”
But forcing employees to return could also mean a loss of talent for competitors with more flexible arrangements, as 3 Google employees told Insider that they had noticed an increase in letters from recruiters at other companies affirming their telework policies.
“I think they will have a talent drain if they force everyone to return in September,” said one of those employees.
Another person keen to move his family said, “If I don’t have a way to work remotely at Google by next spring, I’ll look elsewhere.”
Currently, Google is allowing employees to return voluntarily as offices have reopened, although employees must first pass a health survey and agree to follow the new health guidelines. And for those who don’t want to return yet, they still have that option.