Google is slashing its employee benefits - even laptops and staplers

google office
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Sundry Photography)

Google is cutting back numerous employee benefits as it seeks to streamline its spend amid the continuing economic pressures.

Earlier this year, the company announced the mass layoff of around 12,000 workers, accounting for 6% of its workforce, and has since been tweaking other operations in a bid to save cash.

According to internal documents and communications seen by CNBC, Google workplace benefits are set to be stripped back, while other expenses and office accessories look to be under review as well.

Google cost-cutting

An all-hands email from CFO Ruth Porat likened the measures to those seen in 2008, when the world was facing similar financial pressures (albeit for different reasons), suggesting that the re-evaluation is designed just to bring income and outgoings back into sync rather than a reason to be concerned.

Nevertheless, Googlers have been issued with a series of warnings that affect the benefits they had grown accustomed to.

Citing improved lifespan and performance, Porat told employees that changes have been made to which devices are available and how often they can be replaced. CNBC states that Chromebooks - the company’s own hardware - will become much more commonplace as the company seeks to spend less on pricier items like MacBooks and other high-end business laptops, though there will undoubtedly be some roles that will still require higher-end machines.

Director-level approval will also apply to more items, including those that cost more than $1,000, in order to reduce expenses, while some reports suggest that Google has pulled publicly available staplers and tapes from office spaces, instead making them available to borrow from receptionists. Although trivial, consumables can account for a notable percentage of outgoings and there are clear environmental benefits to be had, too.

Finally, benefits including fitness sessions, campus travel, and eateries, are all being reassessed and their availability reduced as fewer workers spend time in the office, which Porat stresses will be based on data.

Workers will almost certainly prefer these types of measures to further layoffs as the battle with job security continues. A Google spokesperson told TechRadar Pro:

"As we’ve publicly stated, we have a company goal to make durable savings through improved velocity and efficiency. 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." 

Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!