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Google, Salesforce workers returning to office amid layoffs


Employees at tech giants like Google and Salesforce say they are finally filtering back into the office out of fear they’ll get cut if they don’t.

Google, which kept pushing back a return to office from Jan. 2021 to July to Sept. amid ongoing covid outbreaks, didn’t actually request employees to return to the office three days a week until last April.

Nevertheless, “It’s trending back to capacity as people are antsy about layoffs,” a Google employee told On The Money. “People in New York are basically all back.”

While the company doesn’t reveal its official in-office attendance numbers, employees at the New York office said the office space felt largely empty until just a few months ago after the company laid off 12,000 employees

“I think the layoffs scared people back,” another Googler added.

Some of Google’s return-to-office agenda may stem from real estate bets.

The company is planning to open a $2.1 billion office on the Hudson River waterfront in August which will give Google a total of 3.1 million square feet of space in the city.

It’s not just New York where people are moving back.

Some employees in San Francisco are also feeling the pinch — one Salesforce employee who was supposed to go back to the office three days a week last year didn’t actually start coming back to the office last month when he got spooked about layoffs. 

“I think they’re finally checking my card swipes,” he added.


“It’s trending back to capacity as people are antsy about layoffs,” a Google employee told On The Money.

Office occupancy has slowly been ticking up, according to data from Kastle Systems which measures occupancy rates.

New York office occupancy averaged 47% over the last week — up more than 10% from the same week last year when office occupancy was at 32%. 

In San Francisco, workers are slowly starting to file back as well. San Francisco occupancy is up to 44% — more than 10% higher than its 33% occupancy rate last year. 

Those occupancy rates are even higher at competitive companies like Google, sources add where people are trying to hold onto their jobs.



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