Google’s push to re-open offices in September is frustrating some employees who say they’ll quit if they can’t be remote forever (GOOGL)

Sundar Pichai

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Google was one of the first big companies to move its workforce out of the office in the early days of the pandemic, but now it’s calling employees back. Some of them say they don’t intend to return.

While tech firms like Microsoft and Twitter have announced they will allow employees to work from home permanently, Google has resisted going fully remote, and employees say there’s an increasing sense of frustration among a faction of the workforce.

That frustration spilled onto social media last week: “Spoken to quite a few colleagues at Google that say they’ll quit if forced to go back to the office in September,” Google Cloud programmer Chris Broadfoot tweeted on Thursday. Several other employees joined the thread to co-sign the message, some saying they may look for another job if Google makes them go back to the office.

A half-dozen current Google employees who spoke to Insider shared a similar sentiment or said they knew colleagues who had made permanent moves during the pandemic. They asked to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to speak to the press.

“A lot of my colleagues have moved away with no real intention of coming back,” one of those employees said. “Especially in that 30s/40s-age bracket. I would say that’s predominantly where it is.”

That same employee told Insider they had handed in their notice after their request to work in a location outside of the Bay Area was shot down by their manager.

Another current employee said that at least two VPs in their group had made permanent moves during the pandemic, and they expected they would not return to the office if it became required.

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Google has told employees they are expected back in offices by September 2021, but the company said last December that it will pilot a new flexible arrangement where employees are expected to work from the office three days a week. 

Since then, Google has offered few specifics of the new arrangement, and employees are pressing leadership for answers. Google has never said it would offer fully remote work for anyone who wants it, but as the deadline to return to offices has been pushed back, some employees have relocated anyway, gambling that Google will eventually follow other companies that are allowing employees to work from home permanently. Facebook announced last year that it would begin allowing employees to request to remotely full time.

“There are employees leaving already because they don’t want to wait around until September. They want to get on with their lives,” one employee said.

A Google spokesperson said the company will experiment with a series of pilots around remote work, but said nothing had changed in terms of the existing policy.

Google wants to be flexible. Employees want to know how flexible.

To be sure, plenty of Google employees do want to return to offices, if the company’s own polling is to be believed. In an internal survey conducted last year, 62% of Googlers said they wanted to return to the office, …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Tech


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