Google To Impose Desk-sharing Policy For Cloud Division Amid Empty Offices
USA – Given that some of Google’s offices are mostly empty and commercial properties are expensive, the search giant wants to be efficient and slash costs by implementing a desk-sharing policy for the staff of its Cloud arm, according to a CNBC report that was updated on Tuesday noon (7 March, SGT).
“There are people, by the way, who routinely complain that they come in and there are big swaths of empty desks and it feels like it’s a ghost town — it’s just not a nice experience,” said Google’s Chief Executive Sundar Pichai in defending the said move during an all-hands meeting last week.
Pichai’s statements follow a February report that Google intends to introduce a desk-sharing policy at the cloud division’s 5 biggest locations, which include San Francisco and New York. The desk-sharing is being called the Cloud Office Evolution (CLOE).
During parent firm Alphabet’s Q4 earnings call in early February, the top brass expects Google to see costs of around US$500 million in the current period linked to its downsized global office space, as the company faces slowing revenue growth and ongoing recession fears.
Pichai disclosed that many Google staff are going to the office “only two days a week,” which is an inefficient utilisation of its current office spaces.
“We should be good stewards of financial resources. We have expensive real estate. And if they’re only utilized 30 percent of the time, we have to be careful in how we think about it.”
At the same company-wide meeting Google Cloud’s Vice President for strategy and operations Anas Osman revealed that only around one-third of staff were reporting into the offices at least 4 days per week.
“Those one-to-one desks actually were utilized roughly 35 percent of the time at four days or more,” Osman added.
Furthermore, Pichai pointed out that the new desk-sharing policy currently only applies to the cloud division, which accounts for about 25 percent of Google’s global labour force. Still, the search giant is “giving teams freedom to experiment” on their work arrangement.