Sundar sent the following email to Google employees earlier today.
We’ve spent the last year focused on supporting employees during the pandemic. I hope the extra benefits such as Carer’s Leave, the work-from-home allowance, the extra reset days, and the ability to work from wherever you need have been helpful in getting through this tough time.
And we’re not through it yet. It’s heartbreaking to see COVID surging in places like India, Brazil, and many others around the world. If you live in one of these places, please focus on taking care of yourselves and your loved ones right now. We are here to support however we can.
In other areas, conditions are less dire and people are beginning to open up their lives and think about returning to the office. In fact, in places where we’ve been able to reopen Google offices in a voluntary capacity, we’ve seen nearly 60% of Googlers choosing to come back to the office.
For more than 20 years, our employees have been coming to the office to solve interesting problems — in a cafe, around a whiteboard, or during a pickup game of beach volleyball or cricket. Our campuses have been at the heart of our Google community and the majority of our employees still want to be on campus some of the time. Yet many of us would also enjoy the flexibility of working from home a couple days of week, spending time in another city for part of the year, or even moving there permanently. Google’s future workplace will have room for all of these possibilities.
Over the last year, a team within REWS has been reimagining a hybrid workplace to help us collaborate effectively across many work environments. They’re testing new multi-purpose offices and private workspaces, and working with teams to develop advanced video technology that creates greater equity between employees in the office and those joining virtually. All of these efforts will help us work with greater flexibility and choice once we’re able to return to our offices globally.