Google Boss Sandar Pichai Warns Staff Of ‘Real Concerns’ Over Productivity


Between slowing revenue growth and an increasingly bleak outlook for tech companies in general, Google is instructing its employees to work harder.

Amid a larger market downturn in recent months, the tech sector arguably fared the worst.

Thousands of tech company employees have been laid off, and with the growing chatter that an inevitable economic contraction is on the way, more speculative stocks such as tech are bracing for the worst.

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At Google, one of today’s biggest tech players, executives are urging employees to pick up the slack.

“There are real concerns that our productivity as a whole is not where it needs to be for the workforce we have,” Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet, reportedly told reporters. employees last week.

Google’s goals

In a meeting between Google executives and employees, Pichai said the company’s productivity has lagged behind its goals given its number of employees. CNBC reported, after speaking with attendees and reviewing internal documents.

Pichai reportedly asked workers to help them participate by creating a corporate culture that would be “more mission-driven, more product-driven, more customer-driven.”

“We should think about how we can minimize distractions and really raise the bar on both product excellence and productivity,” he added.

Google did not immediately respond to Fortuneof the request for comments on the report.

Google employees reportedly expressed concerns about possible layoffs at the meeting. Last month, Pichai issued an internal memo to Google staff announcing that the company would “slow the pace of hiring for the remainder of the year.”

In the letter, Pichai wrote that the company should become “more entrepreneurial” and work with “more urgency, sharper focus and more hunger than we have shown on sunnier days.”

A week later, Google officially kicked off a two-week hiring break, which is expected to continue this week.

To help foster more entrepreneurship at the company, Pichai reportedly announced a new initiative that would facilitate employee feedback and welcome new ideas, according to CNBC.

The initiative will take the form of a survey and seek employee feedback on how to increase efficiency and productivity, and create a corporate culture more focused on common growth goals.

“Economic Headwinds”

In its memo to employees last month, Pichai warned that Google was not immune to “economic headwinds” sweeping the tech world in the form of layoffs and hiring freezes.

Since May, several other tech companies—including Uber and Meta—have announced hiring pauses in certain departments. Others, like Netflix, have approved layoffs this year.

Those same economic headwinds may be part of why Pichai is asking employees to stay focused on productivity, as unfettered growth in the tech space is no longer a guarantee amid this year’s market downturn.

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, released its second-quarter results last week, and while pundits had forecast bleak reports for tech companies, Alphabet posted relatively encouraging results, thanks in large part to increased ad revenue. from Google searches related to the revitalization of the retail and travel industries.

But while revenues have increased slightly, they have slowed since the early days of the pandemic.

Alphabet’s revenue in the second quarter of 2022 was 13% higher than the same period last year, a significant slowdown since the company’s 62% revenue jump last year, largely due to higher spending in the research and development and sales and marketing departments.

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