Here’s what Google CEO Sundar Pichai said about employees returning to offices

Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent an email to staffers, commonly known as Googlers, detailing the tech giant’s plans of working in a pandemic environment.
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“It’s heartbreaking to see COVID(-19) surging in places like India, Brazil, and many others around the world. If you live in one of these places, please focus on taking care of yourselves and your loved ones right now. We are here to support however we can,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai told employees in an email, in which he also announced the tech giant will be moving to a more flexible work week and a hybrid working model.

In the same email, the Chennai-born, IIT-Kharagpur alumnus boss of the tech giant pointed out that Google has spent the last year focused on supporting employees during the pandemic. 

“I hope the extra benefits such as carer’s leave, the work-from-home allowance, the extra reset days, and the ability to work from wherever you need have been helpful in getting through this tough time,” he wrote.

With some parts of the world where conditions are less dire starting to open up, Sundar said that people have been thinking about returning to the office. “In fact, in places where we’ve been able to reopen Google offices in a voluntary capacity, we’ve seen nearly 60 per cent of Googlers choosing to come back to the office,” he said.

The Google CEO also took to micro-blogging site Twitter to share that while the majority of employees still want to be on campus some of the time, many would also enjoy the flexibility of working from home for a couple of days a week.

Keeping this in mind, Google has decided to move to a more flexible work week where a hybrid model of working will be followed, he said.

“Spending time in another city for part of the year, or even moving there permanently. Google’s future workplace will have room for all of these possibilities. We’re moving to a hybrid work week with most Googlers in the office approximately 3 days a week,” he said.

Google will offer more location choices around where to work, from among its many campuses, as well as the option to be fully remote based on role and team needs. It will also offer flexible benefits like the option to work from anywhere for up to four weeks a year.

Currently, 60 per cent of Google’s employees are working from the office a few days a week, 20 per cent in new office locations and the remaining 20 per cent from home.

Google will continue to offer extra ‘reset’ days to help employees recharge during the pandemic in 2021, Sundar wrote in the email to Googlers.

“I know this past year hasn’t been easy for anyone and many Googlers are still suffering as the pandemic wears on. We will get through it — together — as a Google community,” he said.

While stressing that the future of work is flexibility, Sundar pointed out that the changes at Google are a starting point to help its employees do their very best work and have fun doing it.