As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, so many companies had to initiate a “work from home” protocol. This includes Silicon Valley technology giant, Google. However, as the effect of the pandemic gradually fades away, people are beginning to return back to the officie. The return to the office after about 10 months out may prove to be challenging. In its recent annual (10-K) report to regulators, Google warns that the company would suffer adverse effects on work efficiency and financial performance. This is as a result of the long work-at-home period as well as the sudden return to office mode.
Google is a company with excellent benefits in Silicon Valley. It currently employs 135,000 full-time employees and also employs the same number of (outsourced) contract workers through third-party labor companies.
Google said in its annual report: “In 2021, as we return to work in more locations, we will face increased costs. For example, we must prepare office space and try a mixed office model. In addition, these factors will also affect our ability to compete effectively and maintain corporate culture.”
Google’s work from home will extend to late this year
In March 2020, Google required employees to work from home. In September last year, Google CEO Pichai said that Google began a hybrid office model, including re-arranging office space and planning long-term homework options. At the end of last year, Pichai sent an email to employees informing them that the home office hours would be extended to September 1, 2021. However, Google is also increasing on-site office hours. It will require employees to work in the office at least three days a week. Furthermore, employees may have to live within the commuting distance relative to the office space.
Google’s policy is stricter than the work-from-home policies of companies such as Twitter and Facebook.
In the annual report, Google also stated that the government’s blockade order will “seriously affect” the ability of employees and suppliers to work efficiently. “From a global perspective, the government’s blocking methods are not uniform. When will the government allow us to work in the office fully? It is not clear and the restrictions are in different environments.”
Google also mentioned the negative impact that extended home office work during the pandemic may bring to the company. It foresees a decline in online advertising revenue, office hardware requirements, potential sales opportunities, and so on.