Sundar Pichai has hinted that Google is committed to bringing back a part of its employees to offices in a “more flexible future workplace”. Though he did not say when it will be done, Mr Pichai shared images of the company's latest infrastructure acquisition in central London.
In an Instagram post, the CEO of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, said he was excited that the company was purchasing its existing Central Saint Giles office in the British capital. “Looking forward to having space for 10,000 Googlers across our UK offices,” said Mr Pichai.
Google moved into the mixed-use office in 2011. The development space, reportedly having more than 400,000 sq ft of office space, 25,000 sq ft of restaurants or cafes and 17,000 sq ft of roof terraces, features colourful facades. It is also said to have 109 residential apartments.
“Excited we're purchasing our Central Saint Giles office in London, which will be a more flexible future workplace (see pics for a sneak peek). Looking forward to having space for 10,000 Googlers across our UK offices,” Mr Pichai captioned the post.
Since the pandemic began in 2019, most companies gradually allowed their employees to work from home. Now many of these companies are thinking of continuing this work culture even after the situation improves, allowing employees some flexibility to work from home on most days while visiting offices only for a few days every week.
In September last year, Google announced it was extending its voluntary return-to-office policy through January 2022. In an email to employees, Mr Pichai had said, “Beyond January 10, we will enable countries and locations to make determinations on when to end voluntary work-from-home based on local conditions.”
He had also said that the “road ahead may be a little longer and bumpier than we hoped” but they remain optimistic. “The ability to reconnect in person has been re-energizing for many of us, and will make us even more effective in the weeks and months ahead,” Mr Pichai had added.