Tuesday, March 7

Google CEO Sundar Pichai on why some employees have to share desks, offices as ‘ghost towns’ and more

After laying off close to 12,000 employees, Google announced a slew of cost-cutting measures as well. One such measure was better utilisation of resources, which meant employees sharing desks. There were reportedly voices of discontentment among Google employees over it. Now, according to a report by CNBC, Google CEO Sundar Pichai has addressed the issue. In fact, Pichai defended the move of desk sharing among employees.
According to the CNBC report, Pichai held a companywide meeting last week, where he said that “To me it’s obvious that they are trying to be efficient and save money but at the same time also utilize resources.” He further said that there are people who, in fact, complain when they come into the office and see empty desks. “It feels like a ghost town and it’s just not a nice experience,” said the Google CEO.

Not many employees coming in every day

As per the report, Pichai also said that Google needs to be “good stewards” of financial resources. He noted that many employees come in only two days a week into office and it just means inefficient use of all the space Google has. He also said, “We have expensive real estate. And if they’re only utilized 30% of the time, we have to be careful in how we think about it.”
It was reported by CNBC last month that Google had asked its cloud employees and partners to share desks. The desk sharing is intended for Google Cloud division’s biggest locations, including New York and San Francisco. Google had also revealed earlier this month Google was looking to incur $500 million of costs which were related to global space.
On January 2023, Pichai sent a companywide email to employees announcing the decision to lay off 12,000 employees globally. “As an almost 25-year-old company, we’re bound to go through difficult economic cycles. These are important moments to sharpen our focus, reengineer our cost base, and direct our talent and capital to our highest priorities,” Pichai said.

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