“The future of work at Google is flexibility” stated Sundar Pichai’s recent communication to Googlers as CEO of the company. Sundar sent an email to Google employees on May 5 to communicate to the employees a vision of the post-pandemic workplace.
As organizations look to the postpandemic future, most organizations have not clearly communicated how that model is going to look like to the employees, increasing anxiousness and burnout. A McKinsey study showed that employees who feel included in more detailed communication were nearly five times more likely to report increased productivity.
While Google offices are at the core of Google’s innovation formula, Sundar Pichai decided to put flexibility and employee wellbeing first, highlighting in his communication the need of a hybrid workplace. He said “For more than 20 years, our employees have been coming to the office to solve interesting problems — in a cafe, around a whiteboard, or during a pickup game of beach volleyball or cricket. Our campuses have been at the heart of our Google community and the majority of our employees still want to be on campus some of the time. Yet many of us would also enjoy the flexibility of working from home a couple of days a week”.
Google has been testing new multi-purpose offices and private workspaces and working with teams to develop advanced video technology that creates greater equity between employees in the office and those joining virtually.
What is Google offering? These are some of the ideas to be implemented:
- Moving to a hybrid work week where most Googlers will spend approximately three days in the office and two days wherever they work best
- More locations globally
- More opportunities to apply for completely remote work
- Ability to work temporarily work from a location other than their main office for up to 4 weeks per year
- Creation of “focus hours” to limit internal meetings during times when people need to head down on projects
- “Reset Days”, or Google global days off to help employees recharge. Their next global day off will be on Friday, May 28
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Google will share more details on all of these changes by mid-June. While Google is one of the many companies planning for a hybrid workplace, more organizations should start including employees in re-defining the workplace model and sharing precise details on how the workplace will look to reduce stress and the feeling of uncertainty.