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How Google’s Reimagined “Work From Anywhere” Policy Gets Staff Back In The Office

In a post-pandemic world, the question is no longer where would be best for staff to work for safety’s sake, but where staff should be able to work for happiness’ sake. As employers say it’s time to transition back to the office, employees who have transitioned to remote work say they want to uphold their newfound freedom to work in places that work for them. 

As companies push for a return to the office, employers are receiving a tremendous amount of pushback from staff. In response, employers are left to find smart solutions to draw staff back to their desks at their own volition. While many are looking for ways to get staff back in the office with in-person perks like on-site yoga classes, snack bars or company wide happy hours, Google is taking a different approach. 

Instead, Google found a solution to get staff to return to the office while indulging its team’s desire to work remotely. What Google is doing is luring staff back to the office with its new lineup of employee benefits that offer more flexibility and time-off. 

Google Is Offering “Work From Anywhere” Time

For Google staff, returning to the office doesn’t mean giving up on their geographic independence and all the reasons people want to keep working from home. Because Google staff now get four weeks of “work from anywhere” time in, of course, in addition to paid time off. 

What this means for staff is that while they can still take vacation time as they always have, they can also opt to work remotely up to four weeks per year. This provides a great deal of flexibility for its employees who have likely gotten used to working remotely and have built a life around their ability to work remotely-whether that be because they have an appointment to get to, a trip to go on, or a child home sick. 

Now, instead of giving up how we’ve learned to structure our new lives out of the office, Google staff can still enjoy the autonomy to work wherever works best for them. And though they are limited to four weeks of “work from anywhere” time, it’s not the only time Google staff have to work remotely. 

Google Staff Have More Balance With a Hybrid Work Model

Google is also adopting a hybrid work model where most staff have the option to work remotely two days a week. This helps to strike a balance between in-office and at-home work, while helping to avoid the potential initial shock of returning to the office five days per week.

In fact, a study by Stanford’s Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR) found that the hybrid work model with two days at home per week is preferred by the average employee. 

Google’s hybrid work model provides a practical compromise between in-office and at-home work. In return, it tows the line for both employees who prefer to work remotely and management that prefers an in-person team. It helps staff work where they’re most comfortable, while fostering professional relationships and upholding a team environment that does much more naturally occur in-person versus online. 

Staff Get To Enjoy Time Off Collectively 

Additionally, Google is also using one highly effective-and incredibly simple-method to give staff more of the freedom in which they desire. And that’s with “global reset days” that serve as company wide days off for the purpose of “collective wellbeing,” according to CNBC.  

Much like having a holiday off, there’s no need to request the day off or put it on your calendar. Employees can enjoy the day off without any anxiety around missing something or getting behind. And perhaps best of all, “global reset/wellness days” don’t eat into paid time off or elicit any feelings of guilt for taking time off as work piles up. 

Since Google isn’t fully closing the door on remote work, its staff are much more open to returning to the office. While some employers seek to fight their staff tooth and nail to return to work, Google is finding solutions to help get employees back in the office happily-because for Google’s staff returning to work doesn’t mean giving up their newfound freedom, but finding new ways to hold onto it. 

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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