Google unveiled a new tool on Tuesday that will allow its employees to make specific requests about where they go to work — specifically, which of the company’s regional offices they work from, or whether they’re fully remote.
Aptly named the Work Location Tool, the new tech is being rolled out just one month after Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced plans to allow 20% of the company to permanently work remotely, with an additional 20% of employees free to work from a Google office other than their normally assigned one if they wanted to. Under the proposed plan, the other 60% of employees would still work from their normal office campus a few days a week, with the option to work their remaining days remotely.
That sort of hybrid schedule is the same one being considered by many companies in the aftermath of the pandemic, which effectively proved how little it matters for employees to be in a physical office in order to do good work and stay on schedule. It’s also an example of the type of flexibility that’s likely to become increasingly popular as workers consider new job opportunities with an eye towards which ones won’t involve having to spend three hours of their day sweating it out to and from their offices on public transit when they could just as easily be doing the same work in bed, in sweatpants.
“With our new hybrid workplace, more employees are considering where they live and how they work,” a Google spokeswoman said in a statement. “To better equip people with the information they need to explore their options, we’ve built a tool that will allow all employees to request to move to a new location, or go remote.”
Crucially, the Work Location Tool will also allow Google employees to compare how their salary might be impacted by their decision to transfer to a different job market. For those interested in moving out of big, expensive cities like San Francisco or New York, for example, a pay decrease is all but inevitable if they opt to move to a smaller market.
Google was one of the companies leading the charge when it came to shifting to a remote work model during the beginning of the pandemic, and it’s not alone in considering how to pivot again now that things are slowly grinding back to normal: Last year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that about half of Facebook’s workforce would be allowed to work remotely over the next five to 10 years, and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey offered employees a similar arrangement.