With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing most organisations to deploy some sort of work from home model, companies around the world are now trying to figure out what the future of work will look like.
For one of the biggest companies in the world, a hybrid model – which combines in-person activities and working from home – appears to be the way forward.
Google has publicly stated that it will be extending its “global voluntary work from home option” for its 200,000 employees through to June 30 2021.
However, this move will not be permanent.
Speaking in a wide-ranging video interview with Time 100, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company is currently “reconfiguring” its offices to accomodate for this model.
“We firmly believe that in-person, being together, having that sense of community, is super important for whenever you have to solve hard problems, you have to create something new,” he said.
“So we don’t see that changing, so we don’t think the future is just 100 per cent remote or something.”
To facilitate this, Google’s offices are now being turned into ‘on-sites’, where staff who mostly work from home can gather in-person at set times.
Pichai also gave insight on the decision to set a timeframe for the working from home model.
“Early on as this started, I realised it was going to be a period of tremendous uncertainty, so we wanted to lean in and give certainty where we could,” he said.
“The reason we made the decision to do work from home until mid of next year is we realised people were trying hard to plan … and it was affecting productivity.”
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