While Facebook and Twitter have announced major changes to its policy of allowing employees to work remotely, Google has not committed to any major changes to its workplace priorities, according to cNET, amedia outlet. Instead, the search giant is taking a more cautious approach, Sundar Pichai, chief executive, told Wired in an interview released Friday.
“How productive are we when different teams that don’t usually work together have to get together for a ‘brainstorming’ and creative process?” Pichai said. “We’ll have research, research, learning from data, learning what works. “
Earlier, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, said the social networking giant would allow some employees to work from home for long periods of time. Over the next five to 10 years, he says, about half of Facebook’s employees will be working remotely. Twitter made a similar announcement last week. Jack Dorsey, the company’s CHIEF executive, also extended the policy to another of his companies, Mobile Payments, earlier this week.
Discussions on remote work policies have highlighted how the world’s largest technology companies are re-evaluating the way they do business after new coronaviruses forced unprecedented office closures around the world. Mr Pichai has previously said that most employees will be telecommuting for the rest of 2020. Earlier this week, he said workers were likely to come in on a rotational basis, with officecapacity at 20 or 30 per cent by the end of the year.
Google is expanding its offices on a massive scale, including at its headquarters in Mountain View, California. The company is also investing in a large park in San Jose, California, and a renovated building in New York City. Mr Pichai said remote work would not affect the projects.
“In all the scenarios, I expected that we needed physical space to bring people together, absolutely. We have a lot of growth plans for the future,” he said. “So even with some plans to adjust, I don’t think our existing footprint will be a problem.” “
Still, the new coronavirus blockade has had a broader impact on the company. Google’s advertising business fell in the first quarter. The company warned that advertising was “difficult” in the second quarter. In addition, Google has slowed its hiring plans for the rest of the year, reportedly cutting its marketing budget by as much as half in the second half of 2020.
“We’re slowing down our hiring program, but we’re still hiring. That doesn’t mean we don’t seek efficiency,” Pichai told Wired when asked about possible layoffs. “We are looking for areas where we can correct, where we can be more efficient and streamlined. “