Google CEO Sundar Pichai has detailed a new ‘hybrid’ work model for its employees. With the pandemic forcing companies to work remotely, Google is among many large organisations to realise that working remotely can prove to be as effective as coming to office. Stressing that the ‘future of work is flexibility’, Pichai on Wednesday introduced a series of changes in the working culture at Google that will allow 60 percent of the staff to work together in offices “a few days a week”, 20 percent to work from different office locations, and 20 percent to work from home permanently.
Pichai wrote an email to his employees, which was later shared as a blogpost, to inform them of the new changes. He indicated that a new hybrid work week will be enforced at Google wherein employees will spend approximately three days in office and two days wherever they work best.
“Since in-office time will be focused on collaboration, your product areas and functions will help decide which days teams will come together in the office. There will also be roles that may need to be on site more than three days a week due to the nature of the work.” he said. Employees will also be given the option to work from another location or fully work remotely, with compensations adjusted accordingly, based on the choices they make. These options will need to be approved by their team leads.
Additionally, four weeks per year will be assigned for employees to be able to temporarily work from a location other than the main office with the goal to give everyone more flexibility around summer and holiday travel. There will also be reset days to help employees recharge during the pandemic in 2021. Pichai announced that the next global day off will be on May 28.
During the first quarter, Google parent Alphabet saved $268 million (roughly Rs. 1,980 crores) in expenses from company promotions, travel and entertainment, compared to the same period a year earlier “primarily as a result of COVID-19”. On an annualised basis, that would be more than $1 billion (roughly Rs. 7,400 crores). Most Google staff has worked remotely since March 2020, offsetting several employee perk expenses like massage tables, catered cuisine, and corporate retreats.
Why did LG give up on its smartphone business? We discussed this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Later (starting at 22:00), we talk about the new co-op RPG shooter Outriders. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.