- Google employees have been told they can’t expense food and other perks while working from home, as they’re made to forego the company’s usual free meals.
- The company clarified its policy in an internal Q&A, as reported by CNBC.
- Google is feeling the sting of the pandemic and no expense can be spared. But the company is making more significant concessions to save costs, including a slowdown in hiring for the rest of the year and slashing budgets.
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Google is keeping a close eye on expenses as the company enters a particularly challenging quarter — and it doesn’t stop at the little things.
According to CNBC, Google employees have been told they won’t be able to expense food or other perks while working from home. This also includes things like home office furniture and fitness subscriptions, the company said.
Employees also won’t be able to put their unused budgets towards any of these expenses, nor can they put the surplus cash towards a charity. The news was delivered to employees via an internal Q&A post.
However, a spokesperson told Business Insider that this is not a new policy. “Google does not reimburse Googlers for general food expenses incurred while working from home,” said a spokesperson.
Since moving to work from home, Google’s workforce has had to skip the regular free meals, an oft-praised perk of working for the tech giant. Several employees have told Business Insider it’s the biggest benefit they have missed since leaving the office.
But the clarification from Google isn’t all that surprising, as the company battens down the hatches for the months ahead. In its Q1 earnings last week, the company revealed that its ad business was feeling the sting of the pandemic.
However, the pandemic hit the company only in the second half of the quarter, so all eyes are on the company’s Q2 performance to see the true devastation the currently global situation will wreak.
Google CFO Ruth Porat said last week she anticipates the second quarter will be “a difficult one” for the company.
And expenses is just one of the ways Google is tightening its belt. Last month, the company said it would slow hiring for 2020 in all but key areas, while marketing budgets for the year have also been slashed.
The company said last week that it also expects “a modest decrease” in the total amount of capital expenditures in 2020 as it slows the pace of growing its global office space.
Last week, Business Insider reported that Google employees will see a “staggered” return to work later in the year, with CEO Sundar Pichai extending work-from-home until at least June 1.
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