Google’s cloud unit tells employees to share desks amid office downsizing: Report

Google asked employees working in its cloud division to share desks and alternate days with their desk mates citing “real estate efficiency” 

February 27, 2023 01:52 pm | Updated 01:52 pm IST

The move comes as Google is downsizing its real estate footprint amid wider cost-cutting measures.

The move comes as Google is downsizing its real estate footprint amid wider cost-cutting measures. | Photo Credit: Reuters

Google asked employees in its cloud division and partners to share desks and alternate days with desk mates, a report from CNBC said.

The company cited “real estate efficiency” as the reason behind the move. The model will apply starting next quarter in Google Cloud’s five largest U.S. locations. These include Kirkland, New York City, Seattle, San Francisco, and Sunnyvale in California.

The decision was made to ensure continued investment in the growth of Google Cloud, and internal FAQ was shared with employees, the report shared.

Some buildings will be vacated as a result, and employees will be expected to come in on alternate days so they’re not at the same desk on the same day. The internal FAQ also shared that employees may come in on other days but will have to use overflow drop-in space” if they do so on unassigned days.

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The cloud unit makes up more than a quarter of Google’s full-time workforce. However, despite being one of the highest-growth areas for the company it is not profitable, the report shared.

Google, in the FAQ with employees, also shared that the decision was taken using internal data it has on office return patterns.

This comes as Google is downsizing its real estate footprint amid wider cost-cutting measures. The company, however, has not specified the regions or buildings it plans on downsizing.

Earlier the company, in its earnings call, shared that it would pay millions of dollars to consolidate office leases across the globe. The money would be spent to realign its office space with its adjusted headcount, Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said.

Earlier last month, the Google parent Alphabet laid off 12,000 jobs. At the time, losses affected teams across the company including recruiting and some corporate functions, as well as some engineering and products teams.

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