Google: 3-day workweek, increased worker flexibility post-pandemic
by Paul Davenport Paul Davenport on

Google is getting more specific about their long-term remote work prospects this week as CEO Sundar Pichai announced in a company-wide memo that 60 percent of Google employees will practice a three day in-office work week going forward.

As for the full spread of Google’s 140,000 global employees? Twenty percent are expected to work from home permanently post-pandemic, while the remaining 20 percent will actually start working from new office locations.

“The future of work at Google is flexibility. The majority of our employees still want to be on campus some of the time yet many would also enjoy the flexibility of working from home a couple days a week […] spending time in another city for part of the year, or even moving there permanently,” Pichai said via Twitter. “Google’s future workplace will have room for all of these possibilities. We’re moving to a hybrid work week with most Googlers in the office approximately 3 days a week.”

Part of this includes giving Googlers a choice on which of the company’s many global offices they will log on from when they aren’t working from home. The company will be implementing a process by mid-June that enables employees to apply to log on from the office of their choice, assuming it doesn’t interfere with their business goals, and that the right infrastructure is in place at a given location for individuals to perform designated tasks.

Other features include “Work-From-Anywhere weeks,” in which employees can temporarily work from a location other than their main office for up to 4 weeks per year, granting Googlers more flexibility around summer and holiday travel.

Meeting workers on their terms

Granting this flexibility to workers makes sense when you look at a number of converging stats around the U.S. workforce and the increased trend of enterprise decentralization. The latest Census figures, for instance, show that historically dense urban centers lost growth momentum over the past decade while rural and suburban areas experienced big gains—a trend that long predates the latest “urban flight” trends witnessed during the pandemic.

According to AppNeta’s 2021 Work From Anywhere Outlook, roughly 20 percent of knowledge workers moved at least once during the pandemic. Now, employees are nearly evenly dispersed among suburban, rural and large city/urban areas, demonstrating that companies need to be able to provide the same level of user-experience wherever users log on.

This broader trend of urban decentralization creates new challenges for already strapped IT teams, as delivering optimal internet connectivity to residential and rural communities requires employers and IT teams to navigate a whole slew of new network stakeholders and ISPs outside of the traditional office-centric IT model. Enabling remote work requires a lot more than just sufficient broadband access out to knowledge workers, after all: The more decentralized an enterprise network becomes, the more stakeholders become involved in delivering business-critical workflows and traffic out to far flung remote users.

All of this is to say that no matter what infrastructure improvements take place in the future, IT will require a more diverse and scalable toolset to deliver on ever-higher employee expectations, regardless of where they are located (or even their ISP).


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Filed Under: Industry Insights

Tags: scalability , flexibility , remote workforce , hybrid work , remote work , wfh , wfa , work from anywhere , work from home , Googlers , Google , network performance monitoring , network performance , network monitoring , network management