A $1 Billion return to office deal has been announced by Google

Google expects roughly 10,000 employees to return to the office after purchasing the Central Saint Giles building in London for £730 million ($1 billion).

It anticipates the offices to hold around 10,000 employees. The software giant currently employs 6,400 people in the UK, but it claims to have 165 unfilled positions and has increased its workforce by 700 in the last year. It has been in talks to purchase the Holborn office building since October 2020. Google believes in the office “as a space for in-person collaboration and interaction,” according to the company.

Google has offered work-from-home assignments to 20% of its global workforce, but the corporation recently stated that it prefers a hybrid strategy with three days in the office per week.

Google has leased 160,000 square feet at the Central Saint Giles location, but the company says it does not expect the other tenants to change as a result of the purchase. However, a multi-million pound restoration of the building is part of Google’s future ambitions for the site. This will be a large office space with covered outdoor workspaces and “inclusive conference areas for hybrid working,” according to the plan.

The IT business wants the Central Saint Giles property to be up to par with its new King’s Cross development, which will be its London headquarters and is now under construction.

The development will be a towering, glass building near to the Kings Cross Station railway lines, 20 meters taller than the Shard, but no completion date has been set five years after it broke ground.

Ruth Porat, Google’s chief finance officer, said in a statement:

“We have been privileged to operate in the UK for nearly 20 years, and our purchase of the Central Saint Giles development reflects our continued commitment to the country’s growth and success”

She added: She added: “Our focus remains on creating flexible workspaces that foster innovation, creativity and inclusivity.”

Google is not the only tech firm that supports a return to the office, the communication platform Zoom’s Head of UK & Ireland Phil Perry said last month:

“We’re fully on board with offices reopening in 2022 – if it is safe to do so. In fact, we’re encouraging our own employees to return to the office by preparing for a hybrid approach that strategically mixes remote and in-office work.”

He added: “Flexibility has become more of a vital priority throughout 2021 as employee expectations have risen in line with changing circumstances borne from the pandemic. But too many people are associating this with remote work only, rather than understanding that both the office and home play a vital role in the future workplace.”

Perry also praised the government’s consultation on the right to request flexible working: “With the government’s consultation on the right to request flexible work from day one underway, we can expect to see more developments in this space. It’s now up to businesses to create an environment that existing employees and new talent want to work in. And those that successfully do so will reap the benefits.”

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