Google staff asked to share desk space in latest cost purge

Google Cloud employees stateside are being asked to share a desk with a colleague in the latest cost curb as real estate is rationalized in line with efforts outlined by management, and mass redundancies is realized.

According to a memo dispatched this week, colleagues in Kirkland, Washington; New York City; San Francisco, Seattle; and Sunnyvale California were told about the change.

“Most Googlers will now have to share a desk with one other Googler,” said the memo, seen by CNBC. Staff will not be expected to sit at the same desk on the same day, Google added. “Through the matching process, they will agree on a basic desk setup and establish norms with the desk partner and team to ensure a positive experience in the new shared environment.”

The desk share plan is being referred to by management as Cloud Office Evolution, “combining the best of pre-pandemic collaboration with the flexibility” of mixed working at home and in the office.

This is all a far cry from image Google worked hard to create of a business that lavished its employees with perks including on-site massage therapy, free meals and cookery classes, on-site gyms and much, much more.