Mon. Oct 2nd, 2023

    Google’s CEO touts desk-sharing, says the office can feel like a ‘ghost town’ with many employees in the office just 2 days a week: CNBC

    Google CEO Sundar Pichai reminded Google employees to be mindful of spending.

    Google CEO Sundar Pichai justified a new desk-sharing program at the company’s cloud unit, per CNBC.
    This was after employees taunted the “corpspeak” used while announcing the new program.
    Pichai said many staffers work in the office two days just a week, so it can feel like a “ghost town.”

    Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, justified the company’s new desk-sharing program, saying the office can look desolate with many employees just coming in twice a week, CNBC reported on Monday.

    “To me, it’s obvious that they are trying to be efficient and save money but at the same time also utilize resources,” Pichai said at an all-hands meeting last week, CNBC reported citing an audio recording it obtained. “There are people, by the way, who routinely complain that they come in and there are big swaths of empty desks and it feels like it’s a ghost town — it’s just not a nice experience.”

    Last month, staff at Google’s cloud division in five US locations — including New York City and San Francisco — were told to coordinate on their alternate days in the office and share their desks with coworkers. While the policy is just for cloud employees now, Pichai said last week other teams have the “freedom to experiment,” per CNBC.

    The executive also reminded Google employees to be mindful of spending. 

    “We should be good stewards of financial resources,” Pichai said, per CNBC. “We have expensive real estate. And if they’re only utilized 30% of the time, we have to be careful in how we think about it.”

    The desk-sharing program had previously drawn criticism from some employees who taunted the “corpspeak” used while announcing the initiative, per the broadcaster. 

    The belt-tightening at Google comes amid difficult times in the tech industry after years of splashy employee benefits.  Companies that over-hired during the e-commerce boom during the pandemic are now facing a drop-off in demand.

    Over 450 tech companies have laid off nearly 124,000 employees this year so far, according to the tracker. 

    A Google spokesperson confirmed the company’s desk-sharing program, in an emailed response to Insider, but did not comment on Pichai’s comments. 

    The spokesperson said it developed the new arrangement for Cloud employees after running pilots and surveys and is “combining the best of pre-pandemic collaboration with the flexibility and focus we’ve all come to appreciate from remote work, while also allowing us to use our spaces more efficiently.”

    Read the original article on Business Insider


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