Not All Googlers Like Google’s Hybrid Work Policy: Survey

Google will launch a new, hybrid schedule for its workforce in early April. Most employees will return to the office three days per week; around 20 percent will work remotely full-time. The search-engine giant is positioning this plan as a learning experience of sorts, and will tweak it in response to data and employee feedback.

But according to Blind, which surveys (anonymous) technologists about a range of issues, 66 percent of Googlers aren’t happy about the idea of returning to the office three days per week. That’s based on a sample size of 1,097 employees—a small fraction of the total Google workforce—but nonetheless hints at wider dissatisfaction over the idea of hybrid work, or at least Google’s version of it.

“I think companies should give employees the freedom to choose how they want to interact rather than being forced to attend [a] specific number of days,” one Googler mentioned on a Blind discussion forum. 

Nearly as many (62 percent) said they were unhappy about Google’s specific plans. Nonetheless, only 27 percent said they planned to petition the company for full-time remote work. Meanwhile, 34 percent claimed they’re planning on looking for another job.

Whether Google listens to those employees and adjusts course is an open question. “We’re at the beginning of a journey, so the office experience will feel pretty similar to what it was like pre-Covid,” Google Real Estate and Workplace Services VP David Radcliffe told CNBC earlier this month. “We’re designing and piloting options to support new ways of working together and we’ll gather insights, data and feedback to help us learn as we go.”

Past surveys have shown technologists strongly interested in the idea of hybrid work. According to Dice’s 2021 Technologist Sentiment Report, for example, 85 percent of technologists said they found the prospect of hybrid work anywhere from somewhat to extremely desirable. But Blind’s Google data suggests that employees might want some flexibility over which days (and how many days) they choose to come into the office.