Google Plans to Implement Desk Sharing among its Employees

Russell Kidson
Feb 23, 2023
Updated • Feb 23, 2023

Google Plans to Implement Desk Sharing among its Employees

Google's Cloud division recently circulated a memo informing its employees of a new desk-sharing policy. As per the memo obtained by CNBC, the revised policy aims to reduce the amount of desk space required, allowing Google to vacate some of its buildings and realize cost savings.

Google Plans to Implement Desk Sharing among its Employees

This move comes amidst Google's broader effort to reduce costs related to global office spaces, which is projected to cost the company $500 million this quarter. By sharing workspaces, Google is optimizing the use of available resources and streamlining operations.

The new desk-sharing policy, referred to as Cloud Office Evolution (CLOE), will impact five of Google Cloud's primary locations: Kirkland, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Sunnyvale. Under this new policy, employees will be asked to pair up with another colleague and share a desk setup. The employees will alternate their office days between Monday and Wednesday, and Tuesday and Thursday.

To ensure a positive experience in the new shared workspace, the memo instructs employees to work collaboratively with their desk partners to agree on a basic desk setup and establish norms with their teams. The CLOE program aims to optimize Google's office space, reduce operating costs and improve the utilization of shared resources.

The new desk-sharing policy is a revision of Google's existing policy, which mandated that employees be physically present in the office three days a week. Under the new policy, employees who wish to work from the office for more than the assigned two days a week will be moved to an overflow drop-in space.

Moreover, the CLOE program will group employees into designated 'neighborhoods' under the direction of a local VP or director, who will oversee the desk-sharing arrangements. This system aims to promote better coordination and communication among teams, as well as to facilitate a seamless transition to the new workspace environment.

The revised desk-sharing policy has triggered some reactions from Google Cloud employees, who appear to be more concerned about how the new policy was communicated than the actual arrangement.

One meme on the internal company platform Memegen reads: 'Not every cost-cutting measure needs to be word-mangled to sound good for employees.' This sentiment suggests that employees would appreciate more transparency and honesty from management regarding the rationale for the policy change. Nonetheless, the CLOE program remains a crucial component of Google's ongoing efforts to optimize its operations, conserve resources, and promote efficient use of shared spaces.

Google Cloud Employees to Share Desks in Cost-Cutting Move


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  1. Benjamin said on February 24, 2023 at 9:47 am

    …why do i always get a feeling of dystopia when i read about corporate redesign of working conditions… ?

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