There is a good chance you are reading this from a Google browser. One of the most influential companies in recent history continues to find ways to solve for Remote Work.
When they made the shift to working-from-home, Google’s remote work policy focused on people first.
Google has been a fantastic place to work since the very beginning. We’ve all heard about the on-site fitness centers, family support, and even massages.
The pandemic brought many changes. Google’s dedication to employee well-being wasn’t one of them. The company showed an amazing amount of empathy for its workers.
What can we expect from Google’s remote work policy now that they’re returning to the office? And, can Google be considered one of the best remote companies to work for in 2022?
Google’s hybrid work model shouldn’t come as a surprise.
With the reopening of their Bay Area office, the hybrid work model is in full effect. Their hybrid work model has given employees the option to choose where they work.
Many employees chose either full-remote work, hybrid, or to relocate.
Google approved 85% of the requests, worldwide.
The requests that weren’t approved were because of the type of work they do. Certain tasks can’t be performed at home and need specialized equipment.
They still expect most of their workers to be in the office at least three days a week. But all pre-Covid amenities are available with their return.
The company switched to remote work 2020 and they searched for ways to make it easier. They did company-wide surveys to assess everyone’s needs.
Armed with information, they set out to help teams form stronger connections. The distance between team members didn’t have to matter.
This identifies one important point in Google’s approach to remote work. The company realized that emotional intelligence is important.
Google’s remote work policy gives workers options.
Employees can choose to return to the office full-time or three days a week. They can also request a remote-work extension or to remain fully remote.
Along with this hybrid approach, employees decide their working schedules. Teams and their leader need to agree on this, but it allows flexibility.
When they made the switch to remote work, Google emphasized the need to connect.
Team meetings are prioritized since that’s the most they’ll see of each other. The company said to choose virtual meetings. This made it easier to see body language and emotional cues.
They also encouraged teams to have ‘virtual coffee breaks’.
Remote work tends to be isolating. Google encourages their employees to connect on a personal level, too.
And for those introverts? Team leaders are encouraged to help them feel involved by asking direct questions.
Sometimes, teams are spread out across the US or further. Time zones and personal lives can interfere, and things get lost in translation.
For this reason, teams are encouraged to set their own standards and expectations.
This can include:
- Response times to emails and messages.
- How often to contact each other.
- How they should share information.
- Clarify expectations for each team member.
Each member’s opinion should be considered. Once they agree on expectations, they should put it in writing and send it to each member.
This will differ for each team and that’s why Google leaves the decision to them.
Google encourages its remote and hybrid employees to find a work-life balance. It’s easy for work to overlap with personal time when you work from home.
They suggested the following to their remote employees:
- Set up a comfortable and separate workspace in the house.
- Set workday limits – don’t overwork.
- Take frequent breaks throughout the day.
We went to Indeed.com to see what remote workers were saying about Google.
Many of the reviews were glowing praises for the company. They have great teams, great work-life balance, and great benefits.
Job satisfaction at Google seems to be high. Employees say there are ample growth opportunities to express their skills.
One employee even said that they’re excited to start each day.
An article in CNBC cited that Google offices in the Bay Area will reopen on 4th April 2022. It also said that the company will help employees with the switch to hybrid work.
A Deadline article says Google dropped mask and testing mandates for vaccinated employees. Those who are unvaccinated need to wear masks and be tested.
Variety corroborates this, stating that Google has since dropped all vaccination mandates.
For years, Google employees have praised the company. The work environment offers growth, freedom, and benefits. Plus, the company has fantastic culture, too.
When the pandemic hit, Google took it in stride. They stuck to their morals and put their employees first.
The move to remote work was tough for many. To prevent complete social isolation, they urged employees to connect more often.
They know that work isn’t everything; work-life balance is necessary and encouraged.