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When a Google The employee asked the company if he could arrange his work schedule to work fewer hours on more days, a human resources representative responded by saying that the average Google employee works more than one normal working day 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. – appearing to refute earlier reports that Googlers had light workloads.
“Most salaried Googlers already work 8+ hours a day on the days they work,” the human resources representative for Google’s People Operations team wrote in response to the employee, in a message seen by CNBC. “No one is 120% FTE (full-time employee) to work a normal job at Google, so working a 100% compressed schedule isn’t really realistic.”
The memo also states that the company allows employees to apply for schedules that are 60 or 80 percent of full time.
The HR representative’s confirmation that employees typically work long hours prompted some workers to share that information with friends and relatives, according to internal chat rooms.
During the summer, multiple publications would have interviewed a Google software engineer earning six figures who said he worked an hour a day coding in the morning and spent the rest of his days working on his startup. These hour-long reports went viral, including to friends and family of Google employees.
One meme, shared by a Google employee on Memegen, suggested that the employee wanted to share the HR rep’s thoughts with “sarcastic parents” who had referenced reports from an hour-long workday. More than 100 employees “liked” it.
In a statement to CNBC, Google spokesperson Courtenay Mencini said Googlers can request more flexible schedules and that requests are reviewed based on their roles and teams.
“As with any business, there are times when our employees work more than 40 hours per week to meet deadlines, fill in for teammates, or provide products and services to our users,” Mencini said.
The company reiterated that it plans to approve 60% and 80% full-time hours, as well as other variations of part-time work, depending on the employees’ situation and manager approval. However, according to Google, compressed work weeks are not as flexible or compatible with overall team schedules as other options the company offers.
Google employees have faced public backlash due to recruiting tactics such as sweeping benefits packages, which have been widely used by tech companies to acquire talent over the past two decades. However, 2023 marked a shift in the industry, when economic headwinds and workforce changes led some of these same companies to decide to remind some advantages.