Google has told staff they must get formal permission to work remotely for more than 14 days a year after the pandemic ends if they want to work internationally, a sign that major employers are losing confidence in the Politics.
The internet titan has called on American workers to consider voluntarily returning to the office within a few weeks. Its 4,400 employees in London are expected to do the same depending on how government restrictions are lifted and other cities will follow depending on local laws.
Google now wants its 200,000 employees worldwide to be back in their desks for an initial minimum of three days a week by September 1, meaning some employees would have worked from home for almost 18 months. In the future, they will need to apply if they want to work remotely for more than 14 days per year. This would apply to employees who have moved to different countries or states in the United States.
The company was one of the first companies to fire staff home when the crisis hit last year, part of a wave of tech companies that quickly abandoned their offices.
In an email to employees, Human Operations Manager Fiona Cicconi said that “the idea of going back to the office might inspire different emotions” and that workspaces “won’t look exactly like what you are. remember “but meals and snacks will be provided where possible”.
Staff dogs – which the company insists on calling “Dooglers” – will also be welcome.
The move comes after Google chief financial officer Ruth Porat said in November that the company had no plans to open offices until June because “working from home is working.” She added, “There is an increase in productivity from not having to come to the office.”
Google advises employees to get the vaccine, but said it wouldn’t be mandatory.
It comes amid a growing debate in large corporations over whether the traditional office is still needed after millions of people have worked in their spare rooms and are studying without major disruptions.
Earlier this week, PwC told staff they would be free to split their time between work and home in the future, and big banks such as Lloyds and HSBC have cut back office space in anticipation of changes to long term.
On the other side of the argument, Goldman Sachs boss David Solomon earlier this year dismissed working from home as an “aberration” and said he wanted the staff to come back.
Amazon, another of the world’s largest employers, told its white-collar workers this week that they would be back at their desks after the summer, after saying they could work from home until July.
A memo shared with workers said, “Our plan is to return to a culture focused on the office as a baseline. We believe this allows us to invent, collaborate and learn together as effectively as possible. ”
Other tech companies such as Facebook and Twitter said earlier in the pandemic that employees can work from home indefinitely and that they did not expect more than half of the workforce to come in. an office every day.
Rental prices in San Francisco – home to many big tech companies that have championed remote working – fell about 24% last year. A wave of young workers left the city for cheaper or more exotic places from where they could use laptops to work.