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Many Google Staff May Never Return to Full-Time Work at the Office


Google’s chief executive, Sundar Pichai, has revealed that the company is planning for a world in which many of its staff do not return to full-time work at the office.

62% of Google employees have expressed interest in only returning to the office part-time, according to Pichai. He said that Google was working on accommodating that desire even if the pandemic wanes.

Pichai was named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine.

In an interview with the magazine, Pichai said: “I see the future as being more flexible. We firmly believe that being in-person, being together, having a sense of community is super important when you have to solve hard problems and create something new, so we don’t see that changing. But we do think we need to create more flexibility and more hybrid models.”

The company shared the results of the internal survey via Twitter, revealing that the number of employees who wanted to keep working remotely had halved between May and July, and the number that wanted to return to full-time work at the company’s offices had grown slightly.

The vast majority of Google’s staff have expressed that they would like to come back to work on ‘some days’ in order to collaborate and socialise with teammates.

“It’s always made me wonder – when I see people commuting two hours and away from their family and friends on a Friday, you realise they can’t have plans,” said Pichai. “So I think we could do better.”

The tech firms in Silicon Valley were some of the first companies to embrace remote working when the pandemic first hit. In May, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg said he thought that over half of Facebook’s staff may never return to the office.

In an interview with Verge, he said that he wanted Facebook to be ‘the most forward-leaning company on remote work at our scale’.

“We need to do this in a way that’s thoughtful and responsible, so we’re going to do this in a measured way,” Zuckerberg said. “But I think it’s possible that over the next five to 10 years … I think we could get to about half of the company working remotely permanently.”

In the UK, Lloyd’s of London is the latest outfit to advise its staff to work from home where possible instead of coming into the office.

Harry Pererra
Harry Pererra

Harry turns on his experience in journalism and programming to write about the latest news in the world of tech and the environemtn. When he isn’t writing for usave he is working towards his Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and prefers dogs to cats.

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