Even as Google, along with pretty much every company in the world, finetunes its strategy to balance the work from home and return to work formats for employees, the company has announced that every Googler will get $1000 as an allowance to buy anything they need to make the work from home situation more comfortable for them. This will most likely include computers and laptops for those who may not have a very good computing device on their hands at the moment, furniture such as a computer table or equipment that helps while working from home.
“Because we still expect that most Googlers will be largely working from home for the rest of this year, we’ll be giving each Googler an allowance of $1,000 USD, or the equivalent value in your country, to expense necessary equipment and office furniture,” says Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, in an email sent to all Google employees. This allowance will most certainly ease the burden on employees as they work from home and have to buy necessary hardware. And it also helps boost morale of employees in these tough times, in the sense that they can be reassured that the company is looking out for them. Depending on what all you need, it may not cover everything, but $1000 will be a big help nevertheless.
Google is also working on the roadmap that should see them re-open more offices in more cities around the world by July 6, depending on local conditions, and is looking at around 10% occupancy in each. “This will give Googlers who need to come back to the office—or, capacity permitting, who want to come back—the opportunity to return on a limited, rotating basis,” says Pichai. Google will have rigorous health and safety measures in place to ensure social distancing and sanitization guidelines.
Pichai does talk about the Google work culture and how chance encounters in office helped develop some of the best ideas but is also factoring in the current global situation amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. “Moving ahead, we are looking to develop more overall flexibility in how we work. Our campuses are designed to enable collaboration and community—in fact, some of our greatest innovations were the result of chance encounters in the office—and it’s clear this is something many of us don’t want to lose,” he says. “At the same time, we are very familiar with distributed work as we have many offices around the world and open-minded about the lessons we’ll learn through this period,” he adds.