The Google offices were once famous to outsiders as a magical, whimsical place filled with giant slides, 24/7 staff massage therapists, a great selection of free food, and complimentary laundry service. Today, in Google’s new era of cost cutting, some employees can’t even get their own desks.
CNBC jennifer elias obtained an internal document from Google’s “Cloud” division, which states: “Most Googlers will now share a desktop with another Googler.” The move is apparently part of a cost-cutting move that will allow Google to “continue to invest in cloud growth” and will result in some buildings being left vacant. CNBC says the new policy will apply to Google Cloud’s largest US locations, in Kirkland, Washington; NY; San Francisco; Seattle; and Sunnyvale, Calif.
Instead of the humorous image of Google employees sitting shoulder to shoulder and fighting over desk space, employees are expected to alternate the use of their desk from one day to the next. After the pandemic and the work-from-home trend, Google wants employees to visit the office twice a week with a “hybrid work” policy. Therefore, they are expected to partner with a desktop buddy and set the rules for how they will share. The Google doc says that if you don’t stick to your schedule, you could end up without a desk; in that case you will have to work in an “overflow space”.
Team leaders are expected to “establish desk-sharing norms with their teams, making sure Googler couples have conversations about how they will or will not decorate the space, store personal items, and tidiness expectations.” Google also increased the limits on the use of conference rooms.
Exactly how desktop sharing is going to work with important desktop items like a computer will probably take some getting used to. A strange line from the CNBC report reads: “[Google’s] The FAQ said that employees with computer workstations will no longer have those workstations located directly under their desks, but instead have to look up their location in a database or submit a ticket for troubleshooting.” Google wants to move away from dedicated workstations and has an in-house-only virtual desktop tool for thin clients called “CloudTop” that it would like employees to transition to.
The report says that internally at Google, employees criticized the company for stifling the ad in “corporate language.” Google called the shared desktop plan “Cloud Office Evolution” and said it would combine “the best of pre-pandemic collaboration with flexibility” and “ultimately lead to more efficient use of our space.” The teams are organizing into “neighborhoods” of 200 to 300 employees, with a “vice president or director” from each neighborhood who will be responsible for making sure everyone shares office resources fairly. trashed to make it sound good for the employees. A simple ‘We’re cutting office space to reduce costs’ would make the leadership sound more credible.”
Earlier this month, a Google spokesperson told SFGate that it was “ending leases on several vacant spaces and will work to consolidate underutilized spaces going forward.” Google has been on a cost cutting streak lately. Last month it laid off 12,000 employees, the largest exodus from a company previously immune to Big Tech layoffs. In the past seven months or so, Google has scrapped Google Stadia, the Pixel Laptop division, Project Loon and, more recently, a division of robots called everyday robots. It cut Area 120 in half, merged Waze with Google Maps and, in another round of layoffs, cut 15 percent of the staff at Alphabet’s healthcare company, Verily, and nearly 20 percent of Alphabet’s robotics company, Intrinsic.
The Cloud division accounts for a quarter of Google’s full-time employees, making it a heavy user of real estate. The group, which ranks a distant third in the cloud provider market behind Amazon and Microsoft, has never turned a profit, recently losing $480 million in the latest quarter. A 2019 report from information He claimed that Google Cloud faced a deadline to take second place in 2023, or it would “risk losing funding.” That was a while ago, but now it’s 2023; Google Cloud is still in third place, and this, being targeted specifically at Google Cloud and not all of Google, sounds like a budget cut.