Google’s HR department has stated that, on an average, Google employees work beyond the conventional 9-to-5, challenging previous reports of light workloads. This clarification came in response to a Google employee’s request to distribute work hours across more days, shedding light on the company’s standard expectations from its workforce.
An HR representative’s internal memo, featured in a CNBC report, revealed that the majority of salaried Google employees surpass 8-hour workdays. The memo clarified that Google doesn’t designate anyone as a “super-employee” for fulfilling a standard full-time role, emphasizing the impracticality of compressing a full-time job into fewer hours. While the report confirmed Google’s provision for employees to apply for 60% or 80% of full-time schedules, it highlighted that compressed work weeks are less flexible and compatible with overall team schedules compared to other available options at the company.
Following the release of the report on Google’s actual working hours, certain employees eagerly shared it with friends and family, with some crafted humorous memes. Earlier this year, there were viral reports about a Google software engineer asserting to work just one hour a day with an annual pay of $150,000 (over Rs 1.20 crore), contributing to misconceptions about Google employees’ workloads. The recent memo provides Google employees with shareable evidence of their genuine work commitments.
Google allows employees to request more flexible schedules, but these requests undergo review based on roles and teams, according to a spokesperson cited in the report. Google acknowledges instances where employees exceed 40 hours per week to meet deadlines, support colleagues, or deliver products and services. This report coincides with the ongoing debate in India Inc. regarding a proposed 70-hour work week, sparked by Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy’s suggestion for Indian youngsters to work longer hours.
While Google has faced criticism in the past for its recruiting tactics and extensive corporate perks, including free food and drinks, in 2023, the company, along with other tech giants like Amazon and Meta, opted to scale back on such perks. Additionally, Google underwent significant layoffs earlier this year, affecting 6% of its workforce (12,000 employees), signaling a shift from the previously relaxed work culture in Silicon Valley.