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Why is Google asking employees in US to share desk with colleagues?


Search engine giant Google has asked its cloud employees and partners to share desks with each other and also alternate days with their deskmates from the next quarter, a move amid massive layoffs in recent times.According to a CNBC report, this exercise will be applicable on Google Cloud’s five locations in the United States- New York City, San Fransisco, Seattle, Sunnyvale in California and Kirkland in Washington. The company has cited ‘real estate efficiency’ among the reasons behind the move. Google said the model is being applied so that the company can continue to invest in Cloud’s growth. Some buildings will be vacated as part of the move. An internal FAQ document accessed by Google said most of the employees will share a desk with their colleagues. The company expects employees to come to office on alternate days so that they are not at the same desk on the same day. The company said the title has been named as Cloud Office Evolution or ‘CLOE’ which is a ‘combination’ of the best of pre-pandemic collaboration with hybrid work. As per the new model, there will be teams of 200-300 employees and ‘partners’ who will be organised into ‘neighbourhoods’ which may include ‘partner teams’ of other teams. Each neighbourhood will have a vice-president or a director who will be responsible for allocating space in the neighbourhood.

The employees will alternate the days they are in the office. They will be in office two days a week.

A Google spokesperson told the website that the company had run pilots and carried out surveys with the employees to explore different hybrid work models. As per data, the employees appreciated in-person collaboration while in office and the option to work from home a few days each week.

According to report, the technology giant has cut its real estate footprint amid broader cost-cutting through layoffs. But it is yet to specify regions or buildings it is planning to downsize.

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