Google Employees Consider Other Jobs Following Company's Return-to-Office Plans by@rickchen

Google Employees Consider Other Jobs Following Company's Return-to-Office Plans

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Rick Chen

Rick Chen is the director, head of public relations at Blind. He writes about tech culture and the workplace.

Add “hybrid” work to the list of things Google employees are unhappy about.

Two out of three Google employees are dissatisfied with the internet giant’s plans to require many U.S. employees to work in the office about three days a week, according to a survey of 1,097 verified Google professionals in the U.S. from the professional social network Blind.

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“I think companies should give employees the freedom to choose how they want to interact rather than being forced to attend [a] specific number of days,” a verified Google professional said on Blind in a discussion about Google’s return-to-office plans.

Earlier this month, Google said it would adopt a hybrid work model, which would require many U.S. employees to return to the office three days a week beginning the week of April 4. Googlers would work from home two days a week but can request an exemption to continue working remotely full-time. Additionally, Google employees can choose to work from the office more than three days a week.

Google will restart its in-office amenities and employee benefits, including access to dining areas, fitness centers, game rooms and lounges, plus free shuttles and massages as part of its office reopening.

Still, Blind found that more than three out of five Google employees (62%) said they were dissatisfied with the plan to reopen some offices the week of April 4.

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Few Google employees apply for permanent remote work

Despite the general discontent with the return-to-office plan, fewer than one in three Google professionals (27%) said they planned to apply for permanent remote work. Only seven percent said they had already applied for an exemption to the return-to-office plans.

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Google professionals cited many reasons on Blind about why they do not plan to ask for more work-from-home options.

There are some fears of a “work-from-home pay cut.” Citing an internal tool available to employees to model potential pay adjustments based on location, some Google professionals explained that working remotely from another city, region or state could lead to a pay cut of as much as 25%.

Others said their manager or organization’s leadership discouraged them from working remotely.

“Some entire orgs have basically told people not to bother applying for remote work as it will be the exception rather than the rule,” a verified Google professional said, adding that staff in the sales and marketing departments might have an easier time getting requests approved.

“My manager told me f— off, no remote,” a Google professional reported on Blind. “Seriously, he turned it down.”

The Google worker was also anxious about a potential “bias” against employees who hope to continue working remotely.

“It is an unconscious bias. More social people prefer to go to [the] office, build connections with other people who are at [the] office, and promote people with similar behavior,” the Googler explained. “They [company leadership] have not mitigated it because they don’t want to. There is a push to return to work and that’s intentional.”

The same Google professional then pointed to the number of emails the company sent to employees about the previous delays to the return-to-office plans.

“There was only a very passive communication about it,” the employee said, referring to emails sent in January that extended remote work to March or later. “For my org it was just [a] one liner embedded in other org wide updates. But [the April 4] RTO was like a series of emails showing a lot of excitement.”

“My manager constantly communicates how happy he is at work, and that obviously trickles down.”

Looking for another job

Google’s plan to return to the office may prove to be consequential. In addition to other companies following its lead, some Google professionals said they could quit over the workplace policy.

One in three verified Google professionals surveyed by Blind said they are considering looking for another job because of the hybrid work policy.

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Remote work was one of the top responses provided by professionals in a recent survey about the “Great Resignation” from Blind that asked what one thing their current company could do to keep them at their company.

The bottom line

More than two out of three Google professionals are not happy about the company’s hybrid work schedule, according to a survey from Blind. The internet giant’s planned April 4 office reopening may prove particularly impactful, as 34% of Google staffers surveyed said they are considering looking for another job because of the policy.

Methodology

Blind conducted an online survey of 1,097 verified Google professionals in the U.S. on its platform from March 3 to 11, 2022, to understand how they felt about the April 4 return to the office.

Survey respondents answered “yes” or “no” to the following questions:

Are you satisfied with Google’s plans to reopen some offices the week of April 4?Are you satisfied with the policy that will require at least three days of in-office work?Are you considering looking for another job because of the hybrid work policy?

The survey also asked: “Do you plan to apply for permanent remote work because of the hybrid work policy?” Available responses were “yes,” “no,” or “I already applied for permanent remote work.”

Also published on Teamblind's blog

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