Google CEO Sundar Pichai has been pushed on the subject of remote working in his company. However, as reported by The Information he is yet to give any details as to how long it will continue. Google employees are likely to continue remote working until the end of the summer but that is all the detail Pichai could provide.
Google's all-hands meeting on Thursday was meant to centre around its new Photos product. This includes the ability to transfer images from Facebook to Google Photos. The meeting was also meant to focus on the work the company was doing to promote racial equality. However, employees were more concerned with when they would be returning to the office.
Google employees in the dark about office return
Forbes has reported that Pichai dodged a number of questions about the return to the office. Internal polling from within the company suggests that the continuation of remote working is less than 20%. Other tech companies are switching to a totally remote working system in response to the pandemic.
However, this does not look like it will happen in the case of Google. Twitter no longer requires employees to work from an office and Facebook has expressed an interest in a similar model.
Mark Zukaburg's company is looking at hiring permanent remote workers. Estimates suggest their workforce could be 50% from home in ten years time.
The Covid-19 pandemic is continuing to rage around the US and in particular Google's home in California.
This means Google's plans to bring its workers back is likely to change. It is expected that workers will continue to work from home for some time longer. However, no one knows for how much longer.
Pichai reluctant to continue remote working
Pichai said that he expected to return at 30% capacity back in May. He also is concerned that his employees' productivity was down during the pandemic.
Hence the desire for them to return to the office. Google was a frontrunner in offering office perks that are now fairly normal across the sector.
However, these high profile sites and the work done within costs Google a lot of money. For example, Google employees can enjoy up to three free meals a day, an on-site gym and nap pods. All of which comes at great cost to the company.
Some would argue that these perks come at a cost to employees. They often feel more obliged to spend long hours in the office.
However, right now they are not receiving these benefits and apparently not working as hard. As a result, Google are hesitant to commit the the new normal of remote working.