Tech giants hire less, but Google opens new campus

More than 4,000 employees are expected to arrive at the technology company’s new headquarters.

Tech giants are hiring less and engineers have fully embraced remote work, but Google is opening futuristic new offices in Silicon Valley, which is watching new trends in the world of work take hold.

In Mountain View, 1.5 km from its headquarters, the Californian group built two huge glass buildings covered with solar panels.

A worker walks along a path at the Google Bay View campus in Mountain View, California, on June 27, 2022. (Photo by NOAH BERGER / AFP) - Photo: AFP
A worker walks along a path at the Google Bay View campus in Mountain View, California, on June 27, 2022. (Photo by NOAH BERGER / AFP) - Photo: AFP

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, did not reveal the amount that its ‘Bay View Campus’ cost, in which up to 4,500 people can work. The firm had some 164,000 employees worldwide at the end of March, 17% more than a year ago.

Visitors ride stationary bikes at the Google Bay View campus in Mountain View, California, on June 27, 2022. (Photo by NOAH BERGER / AFP) - Photo: AFP
Visitors ride stationary bikes at the Google Bay View campus in Mountain View, California, on June 27, 2022. (Photo by NOAH BERGER / AFP) - Photo: AFP

The picture is different among some other companies in the sector. Meta (Facebook, Instagram), Microsoft, Amazon, Nvidia, Snap or Uber, recently announced a decrease in the rate of hiring due to an unfavorable economic context, after having hired left and right during the pandemic.

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In addition, several companies such as Twitter, in San Francisco, have left the door open to telecommuting since many engineers prefer this modality. Many are struggling to bring teams back in person, particularly due to fears of Covid-19.

“I think 10% of (Google’s) people chose and managed to work from home,” said Michelle Kaufmann, director of research and development for Google’s offices, during a press visit.

The artwork lines the Google Bay View campus in Mountain View, California, on June 27, 2022. (Photo by NOAH BERGER / AFP) - Photo: AFP
The artwork lines the Google Bay View campus in Mountain View, California, on June 27, 2022. (Photo by NOAH BERGER / AFP) - Photo: AFP

Kaufmann hopes that the new offices, conceived long before the pandemic, will satisfy the other employees who divide their week between face-to-face work and remote work. The facilities have restaurants, cafes, fitness and meeting rooms, around several “public squares”.

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The offices do not have walls, so that there is a connection between the teams, indicates the architect. Google hopes to separate teamwork and creativity so that more solitary tasks can be done at home.

Construction took five years, with ambitious environmental goals. Alphabet aims to be carbon dioxide neutral by 2030. The new campus is 90% time neutral thanks to solar panels and geothermal batteries. Recycled water is used for anything that doesn’t require drinking water.

Ventilation systems use 100% outside air, instead of the average 20% in standard offices. “Fortunately, many of the things that we anticipated work wonderfully in relation to covid,” says Kaufmann. The virus “accelerated” processes, he maintained.

*With information from AFP.

Google Hangout closes, this will be the date of his “death”

The technology giant Google recently announced that it will not be available from November 2022, and from this week a notice will be issued to users of the platform, in which they will be asked to upgrade from Hangouts to Chat in Gmail or in the Chat section.

It’s important to remember that the Android app had already been discontinued last March, so users will have to switch from Hangout to Gmail chat.

“While we encourage everyone to switch to Chat, Hangouts on the web will continue to be available through the end of this year. Users will see an in-product notice at least one month before Hangouts on the web begins redirecting to Chat on the web," the company said in a statement.

Similarly, those users who want to keep a copy of their data can use Google Takeout where the data will be saved before Hangouts ceases to exist.

The company also announced in recent days that it will merge two of its communication services, Duo and Meet , with the aim of offering a single platform for video calls and video conferences.

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