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Google ramps up return-to-office push with new mandates

Google is pushing its workers to return to the office with new company mandates. Multiple reports say that, in a new memo, the company suggests it could track office badges and factor in-person attendance in employee performance reviews. The Yahoo Finance Live teams reacts to the these latest moves.

Video transcript

[AUDIO LOGO]

- It is time now to take a look at some of the top trending stories of the day. We've got Allie Canal and Josh Schafer around the table once again. And let's start with the great efforts Google is going to get staff back in their buildings. You'll recall that Google since April of last year has been trying to get this hybrid work going. We're talking about three days a week in the office.

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Now there's a new memo that's been circulating around, a lot of reports that suggest the company is now updating their hybrid work policy by cracking down. So we're talking about confronting workers who aren't coming in, tracking office badges to see if they are attending, and then including the attendants and employees' performance reviews. Is that fair if you don't have workers who are coming back into the office?

ALLIE CANAL: I think if you're telling workers that you already approved to be remote that they now have to come back, when a lot of those workers have moved maybe to different cities and different states, that's not necessarily fair. However, I am a big proponent of the hybrid work model. I do think there's a benefit of being in the office and talking to fellow coworkers, seeing your manager. So to me, if that is a policy, and you work for this company, and you're making the big bucks, and they want you to come to the office a few days a week, I don't think that is egregious.

They're not demanding five days a week. Three days a week, I think, is fair. However, if you fully approve people to be completely remote, and now you're saying you have to come back, that's when I think it gets a little dicey.

- I'm surprised that there's still so much pushback on these return to office plans, given the fact that the tech sector has been the most affected by layoffs so far this year, certainly has outpaced any other sector by a wide margin. So you would think given the scenario that the employer has the upper hand. If you're not willing to go into the office, you might be next on the chopping block when it comes to the fact that if they were to be able, or if they did feel it necessary to announce another round of layoffs, further cuts.

JOSH SCHAFER: Well, if you're worried about them tracking your bags, you're probably doing something wrong, right? It's that classic example. If you're worried about them tracking you, then you're probably not following the three-day-in policy. And you would think your boss would know anyway. Doesn't your manager know if you're in three days, if you're supposed to be in three days? It feels pretty cut and dry.

- You know what's interesting, though, is the conversation I had in the office today about to what extent the employee should incentivize the return. And if you've noticed, at least at the Yahoo office, when there's free food, we got a lot more people coming in.

ALLIE CANAL: That's true.

- Should that be an offering? We've heard companies doing that. But to what extent is it the onus on the company to be doing stuff like that?

ALLIE CANAL: I mean, that's a big question mark. And I think a lot of people, a lot of companies are really grappling with that right now. But I think I agree with Shauna that if you're in an industry where you're seeing mass layoffs, if there's a lot of disruption, it's probably a good idea to follow the company protocol. So that's just my opinion. But the perks do work.

JOSH SCHAFER: So if you're in the tech sector, you can take the, you're lucky to still have your job, and we're keeping you a part of the company, so we don't need to give you free lunch?

ALLIE CANAL: I mean, I still think free lunch should be-- I mean, didn't Google already have free lunch?

- I was going to say. Google also has a heck of a lot of perks.

ALLIE CANAL: They have a lot of perks.

JOSH SCHAFER: Plenty of things going on in that office.

- So if they're having trouble bringing people back to the office, given the number of perks that they have, at least in their New York City office, it really shows that maybe perks don't have the pull there that it does at Yahoo.

- Yeah, maybe it's not like journalists who just go towards free food. Maybe it's not that easy for those workers.

- We're talking about ourselves here.

ALLIE CANAL: Maybe they're like, I'll make my own lunch.