YouTube influencer Jacklyn Dallas recently interviewed Google CEO Sundar Pichai (see video below) in conjunction with the search giant’s Google I/O 2022 event.
The two discussed a variety of tech-related announcements, but they also talked about where the company is as it relates to remote vs. in-person work — and what the future of work will look like.
“I got an email from someone yesterday saying they went for a run around the same loop they always run, and it felt so good to be back,” said Pichai. “I think people do need those connections, but what we are embracing is flexibility. I think people have gotten used to a more flexible life.”
Pichai said that the company is having employees come into the office three days a week.
“We’ve trusted our employees,” he said. “We’ve given them a lot of agency and so we want to give them the flexibility so that you’re not too stressed if you have a doctor’s appointment or you have to show up at your kid’s parent [teacher] conference... or whatever it is.”
Pichai pointed out that serendipitous meetings and interactions are hard to facilitate via online interactions.
In the 26 years that Jon and I have been in business, we have had both experiences. We had an office location the first eight years we were in business, but have worked from home the last 18 years. Each structure offers advantages and disadvantages (saving on office rent and avoiding a commute each day are big pluses). But we met several of our previous clients because they were in the same office building as us.
Obviously, tech giants like Google have invested a considerable amount of money in their workspaces. So that likely factors into the equation. The company recently profiled its unique new Bay View campus — definitely an inspiring-looking space.
In the coming years, it will be interesting to see how work evolves. In the meantime, it is informative to watch how companies are handling remote work as things start to return to normal. It’s certainly something that jobseekers are going to be asking us about as we work with them, so it’s worth keeping an eye on.