Some Google employees may resign if not offered flexibility over remote working – www.computing.co.uk

Some Google employees have expressed their displeasure over the company’s attitude towards remote working and are considering quitting if not offered the option.

That’s according to the Business Insider which recently spoke with nine US-based Google employees, some of whom told the news site that the firm needs to rethink its resistance to full-time remote-working and that the current Google policies risk losing talent to rival firms.

“A lot of employees are thinking about quitting Google in favour of a workplace with more favourable remote-working conditions,” one current employee said.

“This issue has become increasingly divisive among staff and, in my experience, is leading to growing attrition,” the person added.

While some employees said they were keen to return to the office at least a few days a week, some with children said that remote work had proved to be “life-changing” for them.

Some employees said that recent experience with remote work had proved that workers could be productive remotely.

One current employee argued they had concerns about “wasted time and building capacity.”

“If you’re in the office but can’t get a meeting room or find a quiet space, then what’s the point in coming in? If you need to do independent work, why come in on the days when everyone is in when you could stay at home?”

At the moment, Google is allowing workers to request full-time remote working arrangements, but the firm only expects 20 per cent of its workforce to be offered this opportunity.

In May, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai announced a new “hybrid” work model, in which about 60 per cent of Google’s staff would be required to work in the office a few days a week. Another 20 per cent would be able to relocate to “new company locations” while the remaining 20 per cent may apply to permanently work from home, with both groups seeing salary adjustments.

The employees whose remote work requests are granted could see a pay cut of up to 25 per cent depending on where they live.

While Google has already opened its offices for employees who want to work from the office, the latest resurgence of Covid-19 cases has forced the company to push back its mandatory return-to-office plan that required employees to come to office three days a week starting 10 January.

The company said earlier this month that it was indefinitely delaying its office return plan globally amid concerns over the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus and some resistance to company-mandated vaccinations.

Nearly 40 per cent of the US employees have come into an office in recent weeks, the firm said, with higher percentages in other parts of the world.

Last week, it emerged that Google has told its staff that they must be vaccinated against Covid-19 or face being placed on unpaid leave or possible dismissal.

An internal memo circulated between senior officials and seen by CNBC said that employees should prove their positive vaccination status or apply for exemption on medical or religious grounds.

Staff failing to upload documents by January 18th proving they’ve been vaccinated or exempt will be placed on ‘paid administrative leave’ for 30 days, followed by a further six-month period of unpaid leave, after which their role could be terminated if they have still not complied.

The vaccination rules will apply in the US first and are expected to be extended to other regions later.

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