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Tech honeymoon over? Google says employees should not seek perks, Microsoft managers worry about lazy worker

Tech honeymoon over? Google says employees should not seek perks, Microsoft managers worry about lazy worker

The recent comments from top tech CEOs like Sundar Pichai and Satya Nadela hint that winter is coming for tech workers. The companies are now talking about hiring freeze, low increments, and cutting down perks.

Google says employees should not seek perks and Microsoft managers are worrying about lazy workers. Google says employees should not seek perks and Microsoft managers are worrying about lazy workers.
Story highlights
  • Google CEO Sundar Pichai recently said employees should not think of money and perks.
  • Microsoft managers, meanwhile, are complaining of low productivity employees.
  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg too has is talking low productivity among some employees.

Winter is coming for tech workers, even in the perpetually sunny Silicon Valley. It seems that tech companies are slashing some of the benefits offered to employees. Google, which is one of the biggest tech companies, has taken several cost-saving measures due to the fear of slowdown that it expects soon. And Google is not alone. Both Facebook and Microsoft too, if the comments made by their CEOs are to be taken seriously, are looking to tighten belts. Both tech giants are worried about employees who are enjoying perks but seem to be low on productivity.

Let's talk about Google first. According to a report by CNBC, Google has made some cuts in terms of travel and entertainment budgets for employees, and it isn't expecting them to seek perks at a time when companies are facing economic challenges such as potential recession, soaring inflation, and low profit in the web advertising business.

The move has not gone well with employees. Some of these employees asked Google CEO Sundar Pichai about the perks and increments in an all-hands meeting. But Pichai was clear that the austerity was here to stay. In fact, he sounded miffed and told employees that they should not think about perks and money, and instead should look for fun at work.

Pichai said, "How do I say it? Look, I hope all of you are reading the news (about slowdown)... I remember when Google was small and scrappy. We shouldn't always equate fun with money. I think you can walk into a hard-working start-up and people may be having fun and it shouldn't always equate to money."

Google had also previously warned employees of potential layoffs if they don't start working efficiently and are not focused on its products as well as services. The search giant has reportedly asserted that workers need to improve their performance or prepare for the layoffs as "there will be blood on the streets" if the next quarterly earnings turn out to be worse.

In July, Google's parent company Alphabet reported weaker earnings for April-June. It is reportedly earning less in the advertising department as its ad business is facing headwinds from a slowing economy.

Mark Zuckerberg wants people to leave

At Facebook too, employees are in for some rough time. Meta, the owner of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, has frozen fresh hirings and has ordered a restructuring of teams to better utilize the employees it has. The company has also reportedly put a number of underperformers on a 30-day list", asking them to either find a new job or a new -- and probably more productive -- role within the company.

This is probably the reason why when Mark Zuckerberg was recently asked about remote working and work from home in an all-hands meeting, he didn't sound pleased at all. In his reported answer, he actually took a swipe at employees who were seeking to work from home. He said, "Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn't be here."

Not just that, he also said that he was going to raise some heat so that some people would leave. "Part of my hope by raising expectations and having more aggressive goals, and just kind of turning up the heat a little bit, is that I think some of you might decide that this place isn't for you... and that self-selection is OK with me," said Zuckerberg.

Microsoft managers slam lazy employees

At Microsoft too, productivity is a hot topic right now with employees still working from home and coming under fire. Microsoft's top managers are asking their teams to be more efficient and they believe that to be more efficient employees need to start coming to the office, even though the company's CEO Satya Nadella believes that around 87 per cent of employees who have opted for WFH are more productive while working from home.

Nadella said that -- although he had a different opinion -- managers at Microsoft believe that people working from home were slackening. The Microsoft CEO cited a survey that the company conducted internally, saying that close to 80 per cent of managers believed that employees were productive when they were in the office. "That means there is a real disconnect in terms of the expectations and what they feel," said Nadella.

It is not clear what could be the policy for Microsoft employees given that the company CEO believes something else whereas its managers believe something else. But it can be seen that even Microsoft is facing challenges in business conditions. The company recently laid off 200 workers from a team that was focused on winning back consumers. A few months back, Microsoft fired around 1,800 employees as part of a restructuring process, but it also stated it planned to hire more people.

Published on: Sep 30, 2022, 3:12 PM IST
Posted by: BT Siteadmin, Sep 30, 2022, 3:12 PM IST