Google and KPMG unveil back-to-office plans

The post-COVID era will see different variations of hybrid working

Google and KPMG unveil back-to-office plans

More companies are announcing plans to shift employees back to working on site. Google and KPMG are only the latest to venture into hybrid working on a massive scale. Each model will depend largely on the nature of the respective firms’ operations and how well governments handle COVID cases.

By September, Google will require 60% of employees to work in the office for a minimum of three days a week, but they can spend the rest of the week “wherever they work best”. Meanwhile, 20% are expected to work from home permanently and another 20% might be transferred to new office locations, according to a memo from Alphabet/Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

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“Since in-office time will be focused on collaboration, your product areas and functions will help decide which days teams will come together in the office. There will also be roles that may need to be on site more than three days a week due to the nature of the work,” Pichai told employees.

For the most part, the new hybrid work policies are designed to give employees greater flexibility, such as the ability to work across the company’s office locations, or to work for up to four weeks outside their main assignment. Employees who aim to continue working remotely can apply to work offsite permanently but the decision will be based on the employee’s team and project demands.

“Before the pandemic, we had thousands of people working in locations separate from their core teams,” Pichai said. “I fully expect those numbers to increase in the coming months as we develop more remote roles, including fully all-remote sub teams.”

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One thing remote workers should consider, however, is how their salaries will be recalibrated. “Whether you choose to transfer to a different office or opt for completely remote work, your compensation will be adjusted according to your new location,” Pichai said.

In the UK, accounting firm KPMG is testing its own version of hybrid working by directing staff to work in the office on some days. “As part of the firm’s new hybrid way of working, from June onwards, the expectation will be that KPMG’s people spend up to four days in the office spread over a fortnight, with the rest spent at home or at client sites,” said KPMG spokeswoman Zoe Sheppard.

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