Google reluctantly embraced the future of work as hybrid back in May 2021. At that point, it announced that the future would see 60% of Googlers – what it calls its workers – will be work together in the office a few days a week, while 20% work will work in other office locations and 20% will work from home.
In addition, Google suggested it would offer all employees the chance to apply to work completely remotely, or more abroad and work from a different office. The final decision would be made based on the demands of particular roles, and the goals of the team and wider business.
But now – in the context of Google calling employees back into the office three days a week from 4 April – some Googlers are unhappy about how the rules are being applied.
In an All Hands meeting last week, employees pushed back against what they perceive as inconsistencies around application of the hybrid rules.
For instance, one employee told Business Insider that their application for remote working had been rejected, but their manager was still working from home.
According to Business Insider, one of the questions asked during the meeting was: “Some [product areas] are open to remote work while others have a blanket ban, rejecting applications even if managers are supportive.
“Although 85% of remote work applications have been approved, this statistic misses those who don’t apply due to blanket bans. Can we get all PAs (product areas) to allow remote work?”
Another question was why Google’s work from home policy wasn’t generally more flexible?
Googlers also asked of management: “Why is the RTO [return to office] policy not ‘work from office when you want to or when it makes sense to’?”
HR responded that the reason for the differing application of the remote working policy was due to certain roles needing to be tied to offices or specific locations. According to Business Insider, HR continued that if employees were unhappy about their application to work remotely full time being rejected, then they should look for a new job in a different team.
Being unable to work remotely is not the only complaint of Googlers at the moment.
CNBC reported that a recent employee survey found that an increasing number of Google employees don’t view their pay packages as fair or competitive with other tech giants.
46% said they didn’t see their total compensation as competitive – that is 12 points lower than January 2021. Only 56% said their pay was “fair and equitable” – a drop of eight points from last year.
In addition, Googlers were uncertain about their career development at the company. 61% said they could meet their career goals at Google.
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