Some parts of the world – including India and Brazil – are still badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic. However, some regions are returning to a sense of normalcy, and people are at least thinking about living the way we knew it again. At times like this Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent an email to Google employees explaining how the company plans to get employees back into offices.
In his email, Pichai wrote that Google is “testing new multi-purpose offices and private workspaces and working with teams to develop advanced video technology that creates more fairness between employees in the office and those who join virtually.”
According to Pichai, Google will move to a hybrid weekly culture. “We’re going to move to a weak hybrid job where most Googlers spend about three days in the office and two days where they do best.”
The company estimates about 60% of Google employees come to offices together, 20% from new office locations, while the remaining 20% continue to work from home.
“I am deeply optimistic that we can get back together in our offices to see all of the people we have missed. And we will be able to work together in completely new ways to improve both our work and our lives, ”Pichai noted in his email.
Here is the full email Pichai wrote to the staff:
Over the past year we have focused on supporting employees during the pandemic. I hope the added benefits like male nurseThe vacation, work from home allowance, the extra days of deferral, and being able to work from anywhere were all helpful in getting through this difficult period.
And we’re not done yet. It’s heartbreaking to watch COVID soar in places like India, Brazil and many others around the world. If you live in any of these places, please focus now on taking care of yourself and your loved ones. We are here to support as we can.
In other areas, conditions are less bad and people are starting to open up their lives and think about going back to the office. In places where we have been able to voluntarily reopen Google offices, nearly 60% of Googlers have chosen to return to the office.
For more than 20 years, our employees have been coming to the office to solve interesting problems – in a café, around a whiteboard or during a pickup game with beach volleyball or cricket. Our locations were at the heart of our Google community and the majority of our employees want to be on campus at times. However, many of us would also enjoy the flexibility of working from home a few days a week, spending part of the year in another city, or even moving there permanently. The future Google workplace offers space for all of these possibilities.
Over the past year, a team at REWS redesigned a hybrid workplace to help us work together effectively in many work environments. They test new multi-purpose offices and private workspaces, and work with teams to develop advanced video technologies that create more fairness between those in the office and those who join virtually. All of these efforts will help us to be more flexible and selective once we are able to return to our offices around the world.
This flexibility will come in a variety of forms – and your product areas and features will post more details on all of these changes by mid-June. Here are the main principles:
A more flexible working week:
We’re going to move to a hybrid work week, with most Googlers spending about three days in the office and two days where they do best. Since in-office time is focused on collaboration, your product areas and functions help decide which days teams can get together in the office. There will also be roles that may have to be on site more than three days a week due to the nature of the work.
More choice where you work:
More locations worldwide: One of the biggest advantages of Google is our global presence. We invest in many great communities around the world – which gives employees more opportunities to move around throughout their careers. By mid-June, your PAs and roles will be back with a process that will allow you to request a move to another office. Approvals will take into account whether the business goals can be achieved at the new location and whether your team has the right infrastructure in place to support your work.
Remote Working: We also offer you the option to apply for fully remote working (outside of your team or office) depending on your role and team needs. Before the pandemic, we had thousands of people working in places separate from their core teams. I anticipate these numbers will increase in the coming months as we develop more remote roles, including fully remote subteams. You can request remote work in your product area or your role. As with location transfers, your leads evaluate whether remote working can support the goals of the team and the company. Whether you move to another office or choose to work completely remote, your compensation will be adjusted based on your new location.
Taken together, these changes will result in a workforce with around 60% of Googlers meeting in the office a few days a week, another 20% working in new office locations, and 20% working from home.
More flexibility for your life:
Work from anywhere for weeks: Googlers will be able to temporarily work from anywhere other than their main office for up to 4 weeks per year (with manager’s approval). The aim is to offer everyone more flexibility on summer and vacation trips.
Focus time: Product areas and functions also offer focus times, so we limit internal meetings to times when employees have to worry about projects.
Reset Days: We continue to offer additional “Reset” days to make it easier for employees to recharge during the 2021 pandemic. Our next global day off is Friday, May 28th (or the following business day if you’re not already working on) the 28th). Please enjoy it!
I know the past year has not been easy for anyone and many Googlers are still suffering as the pandemic continues. We’ll make it together as a Google community.
I am deeply optimistic that once we do this we can get back together in our offices to see all of the people we have missed. And we will be able to work together in completely new ways to improve both our work and our lives.
The future of work is flexibility. The changes above are a starting point to help us do our best job and have fun doing it.
Look forward to continuing the conversation with all of you.