Bloomberg recently reported that Google employees are pushing back against the company’s requirement for employees to work in the office at least three days a week. The Alphabet Workers Union, which represents both contract and direct employees at Google, expressed concerns over the sudden emphasis on tracking attendance and how it affects employees’ professionalism without clear guidelines, now tying it to their performance evaluations.
In an email sent to employees, Google informed them of the company’s expectation for most staff members to return to regular office attendance. Fiona Cicconi, chief people officer, in the reviewed email, mentioned the positive impact of working together in the same physical space, referring to the value of ‘magical hallway conversations.’ Cicconi cited collaborative efforts among teams in close proximity as contributing to the development of numerous products showcased at Google I/O and Google marketing live events in May.
Cicconi also stated that attendance would now be a factor in employees’ performance evaluations, and reminders would be sent to individuals who frequently miss office attendance, with exceptions for specific circumstances like air-quality-control warnings.
Google’s new policy limits remote work requests to exceptional circumstances, indicating a shift towards in-office work. The Alphabet workers union, with its 1,400 members, represents a small portion of Google’s vast workforce of over 190,000 employees, including both direct hires and contract workers. According to a spokesperson for Google the company’s approach is to strike a balance between the benefits of in-person collaboration and the advantages of remote work.