Google has finally embraced long-term hybrid work, paving the way for employees to have more flexibility.
Google was one of the first major companies to send employees home as a result of the pandemic, and has continued to push back its return-to-office date. Nonetheless, the company had previously sent clear signals that it was all-in on in-office work, even investing billions in new office space.
The company’s move was unpopular with employees, many of whom started pushing back against the idea of returning to the office full-time. Some even threatened to quit if Google forced their hand. Further complicating the issue was the company’s own financial reports, showing it saves roughly $1 billion a year as a result of remote work.
It appears Google is beginning to change its tune, finally embracing remote and hybrid work long-term. In a blog post, CEO Sundar Pichai outlined the company’s new policies.
We’ll move to a hybrid work week where most Googlers spend approximately three days in the 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.
In addition to the hybrid approach, Pichai says Googlers will have far more freedom to choose a different Google location to work from. This will give employees the ability to choose from the company’s many locations around the globe, rather than their job being tied to a single location that may not be ideal for them or their family. The only major limitation will be whether the proposed location has the infrastructure to support a given role.
In addition, employees will be able to apply for completely remote work, depending on the job in question. As with the location transfers, remote work applications will be evaluated on whether the job can be adequately accomplished, and the team properly supported, remotely.
Taken together these changes will result in a workforce where around 60% of Googlers are coming together in the office a few days a week, another 20% are working in new office locations, and 20% are working from home.
With this adjustment to its work plans, Google joins a long list of companies that are fully embracing remote and hybrid work, furthering the workplace transformation the pandemic started.