On Thursday, March 18th, Google announced that they plan to spend $7 billion on new offices and data centers across the country, creating 10,000 new jobs in the process, according to Fox Business. $250 million will be invested in New York City alone and an additional $1 billion in Google’s home state of California.
The announcement comes a year after Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company, halted real estate spending after the pandemic hit the U.S., and Google reported its first every year-on-year revenue decline, according to CNBC.
Fox Business also reported that Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet, said that they want to contribute to the economic recovery of the U.S. from the pandemic. To do so, they will be investing in areas new to Google, branching out into 19 states.
Pichai also reported that Google will invest in jobs in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and New York City, following Google’s efforts to advance racial equality.
The expansion of Google’s data centers is also an important part of this $7 billion investment. Pichai reports that Google’s “existing data center cites in Nebraska, Ohio, Texas, and Nevada will be fully up and running in 2021.” Google’s data center power searches, emails, map routes, and pretty much every company’s digital service. Pichai also notes the importance of data centers in powering small businesses in local communities.
As for Google’s offices, they are transitioning back to in-person work may not be so easy, as Silicon Valley companies were some of the first places to tell their employees to work from home last year. According to CNN Business, Mark Zuckerberg predicts that as many as half of Facebook employees could be working permanently remote over the next five to ten years. However, it is especially important that Google starts transitioning to in-person work as soon as health standards allow, as their offices are a contributing factor to the work culture that has made them so successful.
A hallmark characteristic of Google’s work environment is that it encourages casual collision. According to Workspace Design & Build, the classic hierarchal structure of the modern office is practically nonexistent at Google, as studies show that employees of every position should work together and share ideas for better productivity, according to Workspace Design & Build.
In addition to Google’s work environment’s practical and productive nature, perks are also a big part of a Google employee’s everyday life. Google offers its employees free on-site haircuts, dry cleaning, massages, gyms and swimming pools, and even nap pods. In addition, a common trait of every Google office is that you are never 150 feet away from any food, and all meals are complimentary. According to Neil Patel, the costs of these perks offset the cost of employee turnover, as the market for talent in Silicon Valley is incredibly competitive. For this reason, Google must resume in-person work as soon as public health allows.
Google is eager to emerge from the pandemic and get back to the culture that has made them one of the most successful tech companies in the world, and with the help of a $7 billion dollar investment in office and data center expansion, they are likely to come out in 2021 more vital than ever before.
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