Desk-sharing model to increase investment in Cloud’s growth: Google


According to CNBC, Google employees will now be required to share their desks with one other colleague. Reportedly, the purpose of this move is to increase investment in Cloud’s growth, and some buildings may be vacated as a result.

The document further added that employees will need to agree on a basic desk setup and establish norms with their desk partner and teams to ensure a positive experience in the new shared environment. The report also stated that the company plans to implement a new desk-sharing model at its five largest U.S. locations: Kirkland, Washington; New York City; San Francisco; Seattle; and Sunnyvale, California.

To ensure social distancing, the company expects employees to work on alternate days so that they are not sharing the same desk on the same day. Therefore, if an employee comes to the office on an unassigned day, they will be directed to use the overflow drop-in spaces. This move is in line with Google’s plan to reduce its real estate footprint and is part of the company’s broader cost-cutting measures. Despite being one of the highest-growth areas at Google, the cloud unit is not yet profitable.

According to the internal FAQ obtained by CNBC, Google employees may choose to come into the office on days that are not assigned to them. In such cases, they will be directed to use the ‘overflow drop-in space’.

Google’s leadership has internally named the new desk-sharing arrangement as ‘Cloud Office Evolution’ or ‘CLOE’, which they claim will combine the pre-pandemic collaboration approach with the flexibility of hybrid work. According to the internal document obtained by CNBC, the company does not consider the new workspace plan to be a temporary pilot. The document also stated that this move will lead to a more efficient use of Google’s space.

The company has also created ‘neighbourhoods’ of teams consisting of 200 to 300 employees and partners. Each neighbourhood will have a vice president or director responsible for allocating space in the area.

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