Google CEO bets hybrid model work scheme and says his company is already reconfiguring its offices for employees 'on-site' - The famous Google offices might look a little different for employees once it's safe for them to return to them.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai said this week that the company is making changes to its physical spaces to provide better support to employees in the future, a future that will include" hybrid models " of work.
"I see the future definitely more flexible," Pichai says during a video interview for Time 100. Pichai was one of the honorees on this year's list of the most influential people in the world.
"We firmly believe that in person, being together, having that sense of community, is very important because whenever you have to solve difficult problems, you have to create something new. So we don't see that changing, so I don't think the future is 100% remote or anything like that," he says.
Pichai says Google is "reconfiguring" its office spaces to accommodate what he called "on-site," presumably days where employees, who mostly work from home, gather in the office.
Google was one of the first large technology companies to announce that employees could continue working from home until July 2021.
At the time, The Wall Street Journal reported that the decision was made in part to help working parents whose children may be learning partially or fully remotely during this school year. In addition, there were several factors that influenced the decision.
Google CEO bets hybrid model work scheme
"From the beginning, I realized it was going to be a period of tremendous uncertainty, so we wanted to support each other and give certainty where we could," Pichai explains. "The reason we made the decision to work from home until the middle of next year is that we realized that people were struggling to plan and that was affecting productivity."
Making such a long-term decision forced the company to accept its new reality: that working from home came to stay, at least in some way.
And employees seem to agree: a recent internal survey of the company showed that 62% of employees believe they only need to be in the office "a few days" to do their job well, while 20% do not feel they need to go to the office at all.
Pichai also addressed a larger issue for those living in the San Francisco Bay Area: affordability. The cost of living in that area in recent years has become too high even for those who might be considered high-income people in other regions.
San Francisco is the most expensive city in the United States. For home buyers, and anyone interested in buying a home in the city must earn a salary of at least $ 172,153 to be able to pay the mortgage.
High housing costs mean that people who work in San Francisco or surrounding cities, such as Mountain View, where Google is based, often need to move away from the city in order to afford housing.
That results in long travel times for Bay Area residents. In 2019, an Apartment List study found that more than 120,000 people, known as supercontinents, traveled at least 3 hours a day. In some counties in the area, the number of people travelling daily to work increased by up to 126% between 2009 and 2017.
"It's always made me think that when I see people traveling two hours to work and away from their family and friends, on a Friday, you realize they can't have plans," says Google'S CEO. "So I think we can do better."
The CEO explained that Google has long had the philosophy that the office should be fun and that friction should be reduced whenever possible, for reasons of productivity, but also to improve the personal lives of employees.
Subjecting them to long trips to a physical office may not agree with that philosophy in a post-coronavirus world.
The Bay Area could see an increase with respect to people leaving the region as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
A recent survey by the anonymous workplace chat app, Blind, found that 2 out of 3 tech workers would leave the area if faced with a permanent work situation from home.
In another Hired Job Search market survey, 42% of respondents said they would move to a less expensive city if told to work from home full-time. Among those who responded that they would leave, 47% said their main motivation to move to a new city would be a lower cost of living.
While it is not yet clear whether the reports of a Silicon Valley exodus are true or exaggerated, there are some signs that migration has already begun.
In May, a Redfin report showed that 72% of its San Francisco-based users were looking for homes outside the city. And data from rental housing site Zumper showed that rents plummeted across the Bay Area in May, with declines of up to 15.9% in Mountain View, where Google is based, and similar falls in Menlo Park's Facebook home and San Bruno's YouTube home.
In San Francisco there has been a 9.2% drop in rental prices since this time last year, and the city has experienced its lowest rental since early 2017, according to Zumper.
Finally, an August report by Zillow showed that the inventory of available homes has grown by 96% year on year, an increase that is not evident in other cities such as Boston, Miami or Los Angeles.
Google CEO bets hybrid model work scheme