Google workers hit back at return to office ruling

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(Image credit: Wikimedia commons)

Google employees are fighting back against the company’s decision to crack down on office-based working as it continues to change its mind and reconsider what it expects of workers.

The general rule across the company was that workers should visit the office three days per week at minimum, but CNBC recently learned that Google is now clamping down on this by introducing a badge-tracking policy to monitor attendance.

Threatening to also bring up attendance in worker reviews, employees are turning to internal communication channels and the wider Internet to express their dissatisfaction.

Google workers unhappy about attendance tracking

Messages from staff, seen by CNBC, include: “Check my work, not my badge” and “If you cannot attend the office today, your parents should submit an absence request.”

The sentiment that staff are being treated like schoolchildren is growing across the workforce as employees contend with the company’s ever-changing approach to hybrid work. An employer once open to remote work, Google has been reining workers back in with regular tweaks to its policies.

One of its most controversial changes was its return-to-office mandate applicable to Google Cloud workers, which saw them asked to work from the office at least three days per week. Following this announcement, the division then told workers to revert back to two days per week, sharing their desks with a colleague on the days that they work from home.

The jury is still out as to whether remote working is as effective as in-person collaboration, and while this may be a subjective matter, Google employees’ second reason to be fed up is a lot more clear cut: the company’s constant policy changes and backpedaling moves are making any direction imperceivable, and the future for Google’s working policies remains frankly unpredictable.

Google did not immediately respond to TechRadar Pro’s request for comment on badge tracking and its wider working policies.

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!