Google Slashes Employee Benefits as an Alternative to Layoffs


Google, known for its lavish company perks, such as on-site massage treatments and free cooking classes, is implementing cost-cutting measures amid the looming economic downturn. Despite continuing to make a profit, a slowdown in ad spending has led CEO Sundar Pichai to make tough decisions, including announcing a hiring freeze and potential headcount cuts.

Alongside reductions in employee benefits and office expenses, Google has limited employee travel and scaled back social events to save money. The company’s CFO, Ruth Porat, has likened the current measures to those implemented during the 2008 financial crisis, emphasizing that they are a re-evaluation to balance income and outgoings, not a cause for concern.

However, these measures will impact employees, with changes to available devices and their replacement frequency. Google will be utilizing more Chromebooks, its own hardware, and restricting items costing over $1,000 to director-level approval to reduce expenses. The company has also removed publicly available office supplies, such as staplers and tapes, and made them available to borrow from receptionists instead.

Additionally, benefits such as fitness sessions, campus travel, and eateries are being reevaluated and reduced, as fewer workers are spending time in the office. Google is making these decisions based on data and striving to achieve durable savings through improved velocity and efficiency.

Google has emphasized its commitment to offering industry-leading perks, benefits, and amenities despite the cost-cutting measures. However, the company is not alone in facing financial pressures, with Meta, Apple, and Amazon also making spending cuts recently to remain competitive. Experts warn that the worst may still be yet to come.

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