Google faces ‘uphill battle’ of office days in 2022 as Twitter and Meta allow full-time remote work, say employees

  • Google has again delayed its return to power amid the outbreak of the Omicron variant.
  • The tech giant has resisted long-term remote working, unlike some other big companies.
  • Employees told Insider the company is at risk of losing talent due to its resistance to remote working.

Google employees say company must rethink its resistance to full-time telecommuting after COVID-19 variant Omicron further delayed his mandatory return to power.

Google’s offices are mostly open to staff who wish to enter, but the firm had planned to mandate three days a week from January 10. With the latest delay, some staff say Google should ditch the mandatory days.

Amazon, Spotify and Twitter are among the handful of large tech companies to allow staff to work full-time for the foreseeable future or allow team leaders to make the call. Others like Apple and Uber Always expect employees to come to the office at least some of the time.

Google allows employees to request to work remotely, but permissions are granted on a case-by-case basis, and the company expects only 20% of its 140,000 employees to be allowed to work fully remotely in the future. .

Insider spoke to nine current U.S.-based Google employees, some of whom said the company’s attitude toward remote working needs to change and current policies risk losing talent to rival companies.

“We’re giving Googlers more flexibility in where they work and making it easy for them to explore their options with a new tool that shows how compensation varies from location to location,” a spokesperson said. from Google. “Whether their individual pay goes up, down or stay the same depends on the change in location they explore. Wherever our employees choose to relocate, we always aim to pay at the top of the local market. “

Some employees are tempted by more flexible companies

“I think Google still has an uphill battle to fight, convincing everyone that we will, at some point in the near future, have to be in the office for a good part of the week,” said a current employee, a director of the company, Insider said.

“This issue has become more and more divisive among staff and, in my experience, leads to increasing attrition,” said another. “Many employees are considering leaving Google in favor of a workplace with more favorable remote working conditions.”

Google’s determination to reinstate its employees in its offices is understandable. The collaborative and in-person office culture and lavish perks of the company have helped create the workplace culture of Silicon Valley.

“Google’s success depends on innovation and collaboration,” said Craig Nevill-Manning, former head of engineering at Google. The New York Times in 2013. “Everything we did was aimed at making the conversation easier.”

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Google headquarters in Silicon Valley.

Several employees told Insider they can’t wait to get back to the office at least a few days a week, but others argued that nearly 18 months of remote work has proven they can be productive remotely. One person said remote working “changed the lives” of people with children.

Another current Googler told Insider he has seen “minimal pushback” against the company’s internal remote work policies, but said some teams have had their requests turned down. They added that they were concerned about “the waste of time and capacity building”.

“If you’re in the office but can’t get a meeting room or find a quiet spot, then what’s the point in going in?” If you need to work independently, why come the days when everyone could stay at home? ”

As it stands, team leaders will likely decide who will work from home. But some employees fear that this will cause big differences between the teams.

“My manager is one for the rules,” said one employee. “Looks like we’ll have to be there for three days.”

Others said their managers would likely be more forgiving. A staff member said he had no plans for checks on the number of days they would enter. “My management chain is very lax, so they want just about anything that makes us productive,” they said.

Googlers fear that approvals will not be distributed fairly

In August, Google said it had approved 85% of the roughly 10,000 full telework or relocation requests received as of July 2. But these workers could face a pay cut of up to 25%, depending on their new location. An employee said he didn’t want to go back to the office and wanted Google to remove this policy, but it can be a “long shot”.

The Google spokesperson said the company adds four weeks of “anywhere work” per year and introduced new care programs for its employees during the pandemic, including giving parents and caregivers 14 additional weeks of paid leave to care for loved ones.

Some Googlers believe that its remote work policy enforcement was inconsistently enforced between lower-level employees and senior managers.

Google Cloud Sales President Robert enslin operates entirely remotely in Florida. Urs Hölzle, Google senior vice president for technical infrastructure, moved to New Zealand to work remotely, while most employees should always return to the office.

“When Urs moved to New Zealand, I was personally furious because he was one of the main architects of Google’s long-standing hostility to remote working,” said one employee. “It’s a more or less unforgivable act of hypocrisy.”

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