February 9, 2022

Google Backs UK Office Return

The pandemic has been a torrid time for the office. However, it’s hugely encouraging to see that many of the World’s biggest global companies are now returning to the office with a vengeance. 

Crucially, this move back from some of the World’s leading companies reflects not only a pandemic ‘endgame’, but also a renewed dedication to the office for years to come. 

Google will grow its UK capacity by 50% and “reinvigorate” the work environment.

The search giant is spending £730m and expects headcount to rise from 6,400 to 10,000.

It is buying one of the London sites, Central Saint Giles, in which it is currently a tenant.

This is despite the company also building a massive new HQ in King’s Cross due to believing in the office “as a place for in-person collaboration and connection”. The Silicon Valley goliath want to ensure the offices in Central Saint Giles are up to the same standard as the new build. 

Google’s UK boss Ronan Harris told the BBC the investment reflected the firm’s faith in the office as a place of work.

“We want to reinvigorate the work environment. We’re making this commitment to rebuilding. We’re buying these buildings and we’re keen to see everybody come back in and see a vibrant workspace again,” Mr Harris explained.

They will provide more space so offices can be less densely populated – as predicted in our previous post – and will include collaboration spaces and “inclusive meeting rooms for hybrid working” as well as covered outdoor workspaces, the firm said.

Current government guidance remains to work from home where possible, but that – along with other government restrictions – will be reviewed on 26 January.

Eventually, Google wants the vast majority of its workforce to return to the office for three days a week.

But employers are feeling their way as the country emerges from two years of pandemic-enforced changes, during which many people adapted to completely different ways of working.

“I think the next two [years] will be an experiment where we try and figure out what hybrid and flexible actually mean,” said Mr Harris.

“And I think it will differ from company to company and from role to role. I think it’ll be a lot of trial and error over the next two years.”

However, many employees don’t want to return full time to the office and the number of days that employers require their staff to attend in person is emerging as a key point of difference in the recruitment process.

Neil Carberry from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation explained: “Pay used to be the main lever employers could use in negotiations. Office attendance is now a major conversation between firms and potential employees.”

Closing thought

It appears that the real question that remains for companies is ‘how will we make our space suitable for the 2022 workforce’. 


Looking for help?

Check out our post on what’s emerging as popular office ideas for 2022. 


You can also call us on 020 8313 3344 to find out more about how we can help you improve your office or craft a brilliant new space.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Need Office Inspiration?

Download Our Office Furniture Product Guide for 2022 catalogue

Featured Posts


020 8313 3344