Google announced it is buying the central London building close to Covent Garden where it is now renting saying “we believe that the future of work is flexibility. Whilst the majority of our UK employees want to be on-site some of the time, they also want the flexibility of working from home a couple of days a week. Some of our people will want to be fully remote. Our future UK workplace has room for all of those possibilities.”
The company, which employs 6,400 people in Britain, plans a multi-million pound refurbishment of its centrally located offices including covert outdoor office space for people wanting to work “in the fresh air”.
“Building on our long-term commitment to the UK, we are purchasing the Central Saint Giles development — the site many Googlers have long called home — for $1 billion. Based in London’s thriving West End, our investment in this striking Renzo Piano-designed development represents our continued confidence in the office as a place for in-person collaboration and connection.”
The company said UK sites, Google will have capacity for 10,000 employees including the company´s new King’s Cross development, which is currently under construction.
”We’ll be introducing new types of collaboration spaces for in-person teamwork, as well as creating more overall space to improve wellbeing. We’ll introduce team pods, which are flexible new space types that can be reconfigured in multiple ways, supporting focused work, collaboration or both, based on team needs. The new refurbishment will also feature outdoor covered working spaces to enable work in the fresh air.”
This high investment in office real estate, at a time when many companies are downsizing their office space and revaluate the way they operate, by implementing hybrid work, hiring remotely and, above all, trying to predict the future work trends, gives a clear signal on Google’s position regarding the workplace approarch.