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Google slashes employee services and staplers

by on04 April 2023

We want you to hate work like everyone else

Search engine outfit Google has had enough of making its work environment a nice place to work and after laying off staff, it is now cutting employee services.

Google’s finance chief Ruth Porat penned a companywide email stating that the company is cutting employee services to make savings.

Gone will be fitness classes, staplers, tape, and the frequency of laptop replacements for employees.

It would appear that all the “investing in people” stuff that companies have been talking about no longer applies. According to Porat, one of the company’s important objectives for 2023 is to “deliver durable savings through improved velocity and efficiency.”

The company is trying to carry out its most severe era of cost cuts in its almost two decades. The company said in January that it was eliminating 12,000 jobs, representing about six per cent of its workforce, to reckon with slowing sales growth following record headcount growth.

But that is not enough for Google. CNBC previously reported that the company declined to pay the remainder of laid-off employees’ maternity and medical leaves.

Porat claimed said the layoffs were “the hardest decisions we’ve had to make as a company” although we are uncertain how not providing staff with staplers is a good image for a firm. The last time we worked for a company which carried out that level of penny pinching, it went under.

She also claimed that not providing services to staff would enable AI investment opportunities.

She mentioned 2008 twice in her email. For those with short memories that was a bad time for Google when its expenses were growing faster than our revenue.

“We improved machine utilisation, narrowed our real estate investments, tightened our belt on T&E budgets, cafes, micro kitchens and mobile phone usage, and removed the hybrid vehicle subsidiary…. Just as we did in 2008, we’ll be looking at data to identify other areas of spending that aren’t as effective as they should be, or that don’t scale at our size.”

Google employees who are not in engineering roles but require a new laptop will receive a Chromebook by default instead of the full fat PCs which were previously offered.

The document also stated that an employee can no longer expense mobile phones if one is available internally. And employees will need director “or above” approval if they need an accessory that costs more than $1,000 and isn’t available internally.

Under a section titled “Desktops and Workstations,” the company said CloudTop, the company’s internal virtual workstation, will be “the default desktop” for Googlers.

In February, CNBC reported the company asked its cloud employees and partners to share desks by alternating days and are expected to transition to relying on CloudTop for their workstations.

Google employees have also noticed more extreme cutbacks to office supplies recently. Staplers and tape are no longer being provided to print stations companywide as “part of a cost-effectiveness initiative,” according to a separate, internal facilities directive viewed by CNBC.

“We have been asked to pull all tape/dispensers throughout the building,” a San Francisco facility directive stated. “If you need a stapler or tape, the receptionist desk has them to borrow.”


Last modified on 04 April 2023
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