Google CFO: In-person work ‘key’ to fostering innovation

In-person collaboration “within teams and across teams” is key to fostering innovation, Ruth Porat, CFO of Google parent conglomerate Alphabet, told Bloomberg Thursday.

Porat, who also leads finance for Alphabet’s main Google business, said Google’s original model of gathering employees at a central campus will evolve as the pandemic continues. 

All 120,000 Alphabet employees moved to remote work early on, Porat said, but as companies began reopening, so too did Google offices. Google’s Taiwan office, for instance, is now restored to 70% in-person work.

“When we started the move to work from home, it seemed daunting,” Porat said. “I’m responsible for crisis response. We put together a really strong governance around the move to [working from] home, in sync daily with our regional team and global team. That worked really well.”

Last month, Google extended its voluntary telework policy through July 2021 for all North America, Europe, Africa and Middle East-based employees, HR Dive reported.

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