Googlers Will Enjoy Fewer Free Snacks and Workout Classes Under Fresh Cuts
Google’s laissez-faire attitude to companywide perks is coming to an end as it looks to reallocate funds and create cost-cutting measures. Google laid off thousands of employees amid recession fears, and it’s also prioritizing Artificial Intelligence technology as the company takes drastic steps to keep up with other search engines.
Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat sent a memo out on Friday telling Google employees they would be eliminating or reducing several perks including some of the company’s micro kitchens, which provides employees with free snacks like cereal, espresso, and seltzer water, and would discontinue spending on personal equipment like laptops. “Because equipment is a significant expense for a company of our size, we’ll be able to save meaningfully here,” Porat wrote in the memo, released by Business Insider. She added that the company will reduce its hiring pace and reallocate teams to focus on higher-priority work.
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We’ve learned that the perk adjustments will vary based on the office location needs and will be based on the trends seen in each office space such as kitchen use. Porat said in the memo that the micro kitchen will be closed on days that typically see a significantly lower volume of use and will shift some of the fitness class schedules depending on how they’re being used.
Google employees have long enjoyed perks like laundry, massages, company lunches, and workout facilities as well as high salaries and stock grants, making it an ideal place to work, if only for its grandiose perks. As these perks may be winding down, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said earlier this year that the company would be cutting Google staff by about 6%, amounting to roughly 12,000 employees.
Pichai, who has called AI the most transformative technology, said by laying off employees, it would allow the company to “direct our talent and capital to our highest priorities,” Reuters reported. But now the company is taking its cost-cutting measures one step further by eliminating some of its perks, but the company says the perk reductions are to create savings to support other improvements such as machine utilization.
“As we’ve publicly stated, we have a company goal to make durable savings through improved velocity and efficiency,” Google spokesperson Ryan Lamont said in an emailed statement to Gizmodo. He added, “As part of this, we’re making some practical changes to help us remain responsible stewards of our resources while continuing to offer industry-leading perks, benefits, and amenities.”
But if a snackless office doesn’t sound bleak enough, perhaps having to share a desk with a co-worker sounds even less ideal. Google also recently told employees that some workers would have to rotate and negotiate desk space as the company looks to downsize some of their offices.
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