With a $50 million investment, Google is encouraging a return to the office by doubling its UK capacity and “reinvigorating” the workplace.
The search engine giant is investing £730 million ($1 billion) and plans to increase its workforce from 6,400 to 10,000 people.
It is purchasing one of the London properties where it is now a tenant, Central Saint Giles.
According to the BBC, Google’s UK head Ronan Harris said the investment demonstrated the company’s belief in the workplace as a place of work.
“We aim to give the workplace a new lease on life. We’ve made the decision to rebuild. We’re buying these structures, and we’re looking forward to welcoming everyone back and seeing a vibrant workplace once more, “Mr. Harris elaborated.
In addition to purchasing the Central Saint Giles site, Google announced that it would refurbish its offices there for a multi-million-pound restoration to bring them up to level with those in its new King’s Cross development, which is presently under construction.
This will allow for extra space in workplaces, as well as collaboration areas and “inclusive meeting rooms for hybrid working” as well as covered outdoor workspaces, according to the firm.
Working from home is still encouraged by the government, but that, along with other government regulations, will be reviewed on January 26.
Google eventually wants the great majority of its employees to return to work three days a week. Employers, on the other hand, are still getting their bearings as the country emerges from two years of pandemic-induced transformation, during which many employees adapted to entirely new methods of working.
“I believe the next two [years] will be an experiment in figuring out what hybrid and flexible mean,” Mr. Harris added.
“And I believe it will differ from one organization to the next and from one function to the next. Over the next two years, I believe there will be a lot more trial and error.”
Google’s investment, according to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, is “a major vote of confidence in the UK as a world-leading tech base.”
A return to employment, according to the CBI, is critical for economic recovery, particularly in the UK’s town and city centers.
Retail and hospitality firms, in particular, are eager for office workers to resume old routines such as getting coffee, sandwiches, shopping throughout the day, and going out after work in the evening.
Many employees, however, do not want to return to work full-time, and the number of days that businesses demand their employees to attend in person is becoming a crucial point of differentiation in the hiring process.
The Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s Neil Carberry told the BBC: “Employers used to be able to use pay as a major bargaining chip. The topic of office attendance has become a hot topic among employers and potential employees.”