Many Google staff may never return to office full time

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Many Google staffers may never return to offices full time after parent company Alphabet’s CEO Sundar Pichai announced a majority of staff would prefer to work remotely at least part of the week.

Pichai said 62 percent of Google employees favored returning to in-person work for part of the time when the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, adding that the company would try to accommodate that preference, he told Time magazine.

“It’s always made me wonder when I see people commuting two hours and away from their family and friends on a Friday, you realize they can’t have plans,” Pichai told Time. “So I think we could do better.”

The company shared results from an internal survey on Twitter showing that most Google staffers preferred to return to the office on some days of the week.

Interest in returning to everyday office work fell from 10 percent in May to 8 percent in July, while the proportion of those who preferred never to return fell from 20 percent to 10 percent in the two-month period.

“I see the future as being more flexible. We firmly believe that being in-person, being together, having a sense of community is super important when you have to solve hard problems and create something new, so we don’t see that changing,” Pichai said. “But we do think we need to create more flexibility and more hybrid models.”

The Hill reached out to Google but did not immediately receive a response.

Many Silicon Valley firms similar in scale to Google have opted to embrace working from home.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said earlier this year that more than half of his employees could permanently work from home by the year 2030.

After Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey told all of his staff to work from home in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, the company announced in May that some employees would be permitted to work from home indefinitely.

While some companies are looking to offer more flexible schedules for employees, others are attempting to integrate workers back into pre-pandemic schedules. JPMorgan Chase & Co. executives told its senior trading-floor managers to return to the office at the start of this week.

Still, many companies with largely online and e-commerce networks appear to offer their employees more flexibility in whether they return to offices, such as Coinbase, Shopify and Square, all of which will give most workers the option to telework after the pandemic, Forbes reported.

Tags Alphabet Coinbase Coronavirus COVID-19 Facebook Facebook Google Google Jack Dorsey JPMorgan Chase & Co. Mark Zuckerberg Remote working Shopify Sundar Pichai Telecommuting Twitter
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