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Google Cracks Down on Hybrid Work, Asks Remote Workers to Rethink

Google Cracks Down on Hybrid Work, Asks Remote Workers to Rethink


Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai speaks at an event in New Delhi on December 19, 2022.

Sajad Hussein | AFP | Getty Images

Google plans to crack down on employees who don’t show up to the office consistently, CNBC reports.

According to an internal memo seen by CNBC, the company updated its hybrid work policy on Wednesday, which includes tracking the attendance of office badges, dealing with employees who don’t show up when they should, and It is said that the inclusion of attendance in performance evaluations is included. Most employees are expected to be in the physical office at least three days a week.

Google’s chief human resources officer Fiona Cicconi wrote in an end-of-day email to employees on Wednesday that “there is no substitute for meeting in person,” including doubling the amount of time people arrive at work.

“Of course, not everyone believes in ‘magical hallway conversations,’ but there is no question that working together in the same room can make a positive difference,” Cicconi said in an email. ” was written. “Many of the products he announced at I/O and Google Marketing Live last month were conceived, developed and built by teams working together.”

According to her memo, the company will begin including a three-day work week as part of its performance reviews, and teams will begin sending reminders to employees who are “constantly absent from the office.”

Cicconi also asked remote workers who have already been approved to reconsider. “If you are remote and live close to our offices, we hope you will consider switching to a hybrid work schedule. Our offices are where we are most connected to the Google community.”

Another internal document indicated that previously approved remote workers may be subject to re-evaluation if the company determines there is a “substantial change in business needs, roles, teams, structure or location.” It is

In the U.S., the company uses badge data to regularly track employee attendance compliance, and executives are currently reviewing local requirements for rollout in other countries. Mentioned in one of the documents. If the employee does not comply with the policy after an extended period of time, HR will contact the employee regarding ‘next steps’.

Going forward, Cicconi said new fully remote work will be allowed “only in exceptional circumstances.”

“Our hybrid approach is designed to incorporate the benefits of being together in person with the benefits of working from home for part of the week,” Google spokesperson Ryan Lamont said in a statement to CNBC. Now, more than a year after this began, we are officially integrating this approach into all our workplace policies.”

Lamont added that the badge data seen by company leaders is aggregated, not personalized.

These policy updates represent the company’s most draconian attempt to bring employees back to physical offices.

In 2021, in the face of backlash against returning to the office, the company said it would relax its remote work plans, allowing 20% ​​of its employees to work from home. However, as of April 2022, most employees are required to be in a physical office at least three days a week, and at that time the company held private Rizzo concerts and marching bands. and invited the mayor to celebrate his return. .

CNBC reported in April that Google had lifted the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for entering buildings.

The crackdown comes as the company is in the middle of an AI arms race. The company has, at times, gone all-out to keep pace with rivals such as Microsoft and its backed ChatGPT, which have seen success in recent months. The company has also stepped up its efforts to crack down on data leaks from within the company in recent weeks.

But the crackdown also comes as the company shrinks its real estate footprint amid widespread cost-cutting. CNBC first reported in April that the company’s cloud division told employees in March that it planned to move to shared desk workspaces at five of its largest locations. CNBC also reported that the company has indefinitely halted construction of its gigantic San Jose campus.




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