How long can Google employees work from home? Google CEO does not provide details

At Google’s all-hands meeting on Thursday, CEO Sundar Pichai did not offer details on whether the company would continue to allow employees to work from home, according to a report by The Information.

Pichai has reportedly sidestepped questions about when and when employees would have to return to the offices for at least three meetings. Google employees have conducted their own internal survey to estimate what the probability is that work from home will continue for the company, which reduces the probability to less than 20 percent.

This occurs when other tech companies are completely shifting to a work-from-home model. Twitter no longer requires employees to work outside of an office, offering arrangements to work from home permanently.

Facebook has also expressed interest in having more positions based on remote locations, planning to hire permanent remote controls and saying that up to half of Facebook’s workforce could work remotely within 10 years. The move may save Facebook some money, as the company said it may reduce the payment for those who choose to live in markets with lower living expenses.

As COVID-19 continues to rise in the U.S., particularly in Google’s home state of California, Google is likely to continue to allow employees to work remotely and change some of its reopening plans. In May, on The Vergecast podcast, Pichai said he expected to have an office capacity of 30%. Pichai also said that Google employee productivity decreased during the pandemic.

Google became infamous for creating the standard office benefits now found in most tech companies. Google has also negotiated long-term leases on multiple high-profile sites globally, which comes at a high cost to the company.

At Google, company employees can enjoy up to three free meals a day, an on-site gym, sleeping capsules, and more. Some observers have seen that these benefits come at a cost to workers, who are often encouraged to spend more time in the office.

Once Google started offering these benefits, they became the standard for all tech companies in the Bay Area and are considered recruiting tools. Now, it seems that the company hesitates to commit to the “New Normal.”