Google cuts more lavish employee perks
Google parent Alphabet is slashing more of its lavish employee perks as the tech giant scrambles to cut costs and keep pace in the ongoing race to develop advanced artificial intelligence.
The company will close some of its “micro-kitchens” that were stocked with free drinks and snacks and shutter cafeterias with lower foot traffic as part of the efficiency drive, according to a memo signed by Google CFO Ruth Porat and other top executives.
Google will also trim its spending on company-provided equipment such as personal laptops, with top brass making “changes to what’s available and how often it’s replaced,” according to the memo.
“We want to be upfront that there are also areas where we’ll realize savings that will impact some services Googlers use at work and beyond,” a handful of Google executives said in the memo.
“We set a high bar for industry-leading perks, benefits and office amenities, and will continue that into the future. However, some programs need to evolve for how Google works today,” the memo added.
Aside from the cost savings, the executives said the “changes will reduce food waste and be better for the environment.”
Additionally, Google will look to improve the efficiency of its servers and data centers. The company is also testing an “improved buying hub” to help cut down on the cost of supplies.
A Google spokesperson confirmed the contents of the memo, which was first obtained by Insider.
“As we’ve publicly stated, we have a company goal to make durable savings through improved velocity and efficiency,” Google said in a statement.
“As part of this, we’re making some practical changes to help us remain responsible stewards of our resources while continuing to offer industry-leading perks, benefits and amenities.”
The loss of more perks could further hit morale at the company, which had long offered employees a host of extra benefits ranging from free food to team ski trips to office sleep pods.
A 2019 report by Fast Company said Google has more than 1,300 micro-kitchens in its offices around the world that “brim with dried seaweed, turkey jerky, kombucha, and other eclectic treats.”
The memo made reference to Google’s recent massive round of about 12,000 layoffs, with executives noting the pink slips are “still being worked through in some countries.”
Google CEO Sundar Pichai has framed the cuts as necessary as the company dedicates more resources to AI development and other core business news.
The company is trying to catch up to Microsoft-backed OpenAi’s ChatGPT AI chatbot, which has wowed the public with its advanced humanlike responses to queries in recent months.
Google’s chatbot, Bard, has received mixed reviews so far.
As The Post reported in January, Google fired at least 31 onsite massage therapists in California alone as part of its layoffs last January.
Elsewhere, Google is reportedly requiring employees in its unprofitable Cloud division to share desks and alternate their days in the office.
Last September, Google brass instructed some managers to dial back on spending for teambuilding activities and non-essential travel.