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.

(For top technology news of the day, subscribe  to our tech newsletter Today’s Cache)

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.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.