Some Google Workers Angered by ‘Hypocritical’ Remote Work Policies
Slashdot reader nray shared this report from CNET:
In May, CEO Sundar Pichai unveiled plans for a “hybrid” work environment that would require most employees to work from their offices at least three days a week beginning in September. Under the new structure, 20% of the company would work remotely. Another 20% could work from new locations. People who relocated would get salary adjustments based on the local market. The bulk of Google would pick up where it left off, working from the office. Google makes up almost all of Alphabet, a holding company that has more than 135,000 full-time employees…

The rancor intensified last week, when Urs Hölzle, one of the company’s longest-tenured and most senior executives, announced plans to work remotely from New Zealand, according to an email he sent to employees that was viewed by CNET. Hölzle’s plans angered rank-and-file workers, who consider it special treatment for company leadership, while lower-level employees have had to wade through a drawn-out and uncertain application process… Hölzle, Google’s senior vice president of technical infrastructure, is a revered figure at the company. He was one of Google’s first 10 employees and is credited with building the tech giant’s IT foundation of servers and networks. But for some Googlers, his relocation email, which was sent on June 29 and hasn’t been previously reported, illustrated the inequities of the company’s system for deciding remote work… Two Google employees said Hölzle’s situation encapsulated the company’s “hypocritical” policies. Both complained that the relocation represented a double standard in which different rules apply to executives in senior ranks. While his approval came last year, Google employees now undergoing the remote work application process have been told decisions won’t come until August, at the earliest. Approval for Hölzle’s move came before the procedure was instituted.

News of Hölzle’s relocation especially stung because he has been particularly vocal against remote work, employees said. De Vesine, the resigning Googler, said Hölzle had a policy of not letting people work remotely unless they were assigned to an office and that he wouldn’t consider remote work for people who hadn’t reached a certain level of seniority…

It’s unclear if Hölzle’s salary will be adjusted to the local market, as required for other employees relocating to a new place. The Google spokesman declined to comment on his compensation.
“While some tech companies, like Reddit, have said they’ll pay employees San Francisco or New York City salaries wherever they work, Google has taken a hard line on making pay adjustments…” CNET reports.

They also point out that for 20 yerars Google “has set the tone for office culture in Silicon Valley… The impact of Google’s remote work policies could ripple far and wide…”

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