Earlier this week, Google told its employees that it would be extending its voluntary work from home policy through to June 30, 2021, which will likely be the beginning of major changes to sweep through other large companies.
“The first thing that will go through every [Silicon Valley] executive’s and human resources teams’ minds is: When do we introduce a policy that matches or beats it?” said Arran Stewart, co-founder of Job.com.
Stewart added that Google has set a new bar for other major technology companies, particularly in the competition for attracting and retaining top talent.
However, companies like Twitter and Facebook have already exceeded the benchmark after announcing that many of its employees will have the option to work from home indefinitely.
This pivot indicates that working from home will become a more widely adopted arrangement for companies large and small moving forward, especially those with a lot of knowledge workers.
As a result, the commercial real estate industry could take a huge hit during this transition. Companies as big as Google may soon realize that having an office space is not a necessity at all.
“This is devastating news for them,” said Mauro Guillén, a management professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. “Google employees aren’t going to be going to the hot dog place around the corner, shopping or taking public transportation. That is really bad for those neighborhoods and areas where Googlers would commute.”