To streamline operations and reduce costs, Google is undergoing major changes involving workforce reductions, cutbacks to employee services, and a decrease in in-office perks. Ruth Porat, the CFO of Google and its parent company Alphabet, informed employees in a memo that the company is implementing “big, multiyear efforts” to optimize its operations.
In January, Google announced its workforce reduction plans that would impact 12,000 employees, while other cost-saving measures include optimizing server and data center efficiency. Despite these cutbacks, the company will continue to invest in crucial research areas such as artificial intelligence.
Scaling Back Employee Perks and Office Amenities
To further reduce costs, Google is rolling back employee services and in-office perks that were once integral to the company’s appeal. That includes reductions in office equipment, the removal of some snack bars, and modifying employee shuttle services and in-office fitness classes. Decisions on which facilities to close will be made on a case-by-case basis, considering office attendance.
A Google spokesperson refuted a CNBC report that claimed the company is cutting back on staplers, stating that they are still provided at print stations.
Additionally, Google will no longer offer free massage services for employees as they were designed for a time when workers were in the office five days a week.
Hybrid Work Arrangement and Reduced Equipment Costs
As part of its hybrid work arrangement, Google has requested staff in some Cloud offices to adopt a fixed schedule to enable desk sharing. The company is also reducing equipment costs, such as work laptops, by taking advantage of the longer life spans and improved performance of current devices.
The transition from extravagant in-office perks to virtual terminations has been criticized as insensitive, particularly concerning employees laid off during maternity or medical leave who claim Google failed to pay them for their remaining contracted time off.
Emphasis on Data Analytics and Continued Leadership in Employee Perks
Google plans to utilize its data analytics arm to identify areas for improvement, similar to the approach taken during the 2008 financial crisis. Despite cutbacks in services, Google spokesperson Ryan Lamont assures that the company intends to remain an industry leader in employee perks.
Lamont stated, “As we’ve publicly stated, we have a company goal to make durable savings through improved velocity and efficiency. As part of this, we’re making some practical changes to help us remain responsible stewards of our resources while continuing to offer industry-leading perks, benefits, and amenities.”