Google workers reportedly in uproar over RTO crackdown


Fed-up Google employees are reportedly venting their frustrations about the company’s plan to strictly enforce its return-to-office requirements — a crackdown that includes tracking employee badge swipes.

Google’s internal forum Memegen has been flooded with posts about the return-to-office push with some employees grumbling “they’re being treated like schoolchildren,” CNBC reported, citing a review of the posts and conversations with staffers.

The latest backlash arose after Google HR boss Fiona Cicconi sent out a memo last week informing employees that the company is cracking down on employees who skirt its office attendance requirement.

Most employees are required to be in the office three days per week.

Cicconi said managers will see data on employee badge swipes — and warned poor attendance records would show up on individual performance reviews.

Additionally, teams will send out reminders to employees “who are consistently absent from the office,” and permanent remote work will only be approved “by exception only” for future hires.

“Check my work, not my badge,” one top-rated meme on the platform said, according to CNBC.

Google has slashed some of its famed office perks.

Another widely-shared post featured an image of Google HR chief Fiona Cicconi standing in front of a chalkboard that displayed the message, “If you cannot attend the office today, your parents should submit an absence request.”

Elsewhere, YouTube staffers reportedly mocked their bosses for virtually attending an all-hands meeting last Friday in which they outlined the company’s updated return-to-office plans.

One meme shared on the internal forum featured an image of the character Leonard Hofstadter from “The Big Bang Theory” next to the quote “What are you looking at? You’ve never seen a hypocrite before?” according to CNBC.

Google employees staged protests in February over the company’s layoffs.
AFP via Getty Images

Google spokesperson Ryan Lamont told the outlet that employee badge swipe data is “aggregated” for managers, rather than detailed in individual reports for each onsite worker.

“Now that we’ve fully transitioned to the hybrid work week, company leaders can see reports showing how their teams are adopting the hybrid work model,” Lamont said in a statement.

The Post has reached out for comment.

Google employees are required to be on site at least three days per week.
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The tightened return-to-office policy has raised tensions at Google, which is in the midst of a cost-cutting drive as CEO Sundar Pichai aims to refocus the company’s business on the push for advanced artificial intelligence.

In February, Google employees staged protests in New York City and California after the company slashed 12,000 workers, or about 6% of its workforce.

The layoffs were the most significant in company history.

Google followed up the layoffs by cutting some of the company’s vaunted office perks, including on-site “micro kitchens” that were stocked with free food and snacks.

More recently, Googlers were irked by the disclosure that Pichai had warned a $226 million payday last year ahead of the layoffs — with one internal meme comparing the boss to the “Shrek” villain Lord Farquaad.

Source by [New York Post]

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