Google reveals stricter new measures in drawn-out crackdown on hybrid work

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Google is set to take a tougher approach to employee office attendance following changes to its hybrid work policies. 

Reports from CNBC suggest that Google plans to track office badge data to monitor attendance and will actively confront staff who continue to work remotely when scheduled to attend the office. 

Chief people officer Fiona Cicconi told staff in an email that the tech giant will continue its minimum attendance baseline of three days a week. However, office attendance metrics will be used in employee performance reviews moving forward. 

Workers who are consistently absent from the office will also be sent reminders to encourage attendance. 


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Additional tracking of staff attendance for workers will rely on badge data when checking into the office.

At present, this appears to be limited to workers in the United States. However, internal documents viewed by the publication showed that executives are in the process of evaluating local legal requirements to expand the scheme in other countries. 

Cicconi said the firm’s new approach to office attendance aims to foster more collaborative ties among staff, noting that there is “no substitute for coming together in person”. 

“Of course, not everyone believes in ‘magic hallway conversations’, but there’s no question that working together in the same room makes a positive difference,” she told staff.

In her email, Cicconi added that “many of the products” unveiled at the I/O and Google Marketing Live conferences held last month were “conceived, developed, and built by teams working side by side”.

Fully remote workers at Google will also be asked to “reconsider” their working patterns, Cicconi said. 

CNBC revealed that separate internal documents showed pre-approved remote staff could be subject to re-evaluation. This could be dependent on a range of factors, including “material changes in business need” or team changes.

“For those who are remote and who live near a Google office, we hope you’ll consider switching to a hybrid work schedule,” Cicconi said. “Our offices are where you’ll be most connected to Google’s community.”

Hybrid work crackdown

This latest move from Google follows a lengthy drive to encourage staff back into the office at sites across the US and globally. 

The firm repeatedly delayed its return to the office during the COVID-19 pandemic due to rapidly evolving infection rates and the emergence of new variants. 

In 2021, Google faced intense backlash from staff after pushing for a return to the office. This prompted the firm to reconsider its remote working policies and allow a significant portion of staff to continue working from home. 


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Staff have been required to attend the office at least three days a week since April 2022, however. 

Despite pushing for a larger pool of staff to return to the office, Google has been cutting its real estate footprint in recent months due to dwindling demand and rising costs. 

In February, staff at the tech giant’s cloud division were asked to begin sharing desks at several office locations across the US, including its New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Kirkland offices. 

The move formed part of a “real estate efficiency” drive from the firm and saw employees asked to pair up with colleagues and alternate in-office shift patterns. 

Google said at the time that the policy would enable it to “continue to invest in Cloud’s growth”. The firm noted that in the long term, the move could result in some offices being vacated. 

Ross Kelly
News and Analysis Editor

Ross Kelly is ITPro's News & Analysis Editor, responsible for leading the brand's news output and in-depth reporting on the latest stories from across the business technology landscape. Ross was previously a Staff Writer, during which time he developed a keen interest in cyber security, business leadership, and emerging technologies.

He graduated from Edinburgh Napier University in 2016 with a BA (Hons) in Journalism, and joined ITPro in 2022 after four years working in technology conference research.

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