Google To Workers: Office Perks Don’t Carry Over To Remote Work

Google Pledges $800M To Help Businesses

Following complaints from employees who are teleworking and say they miss office perks such as free food and fitness, Google adopted a policy prohibiting expensing those extras while working from home, according to internal documents seen by CNBC.

Employees can’t expense food, gym costs, home office furniture or gifts while telecommuting, even if they have unused cash from its budgets, CNBC reported. In addition, the company said workers can’t use extra funds to donate to charities or fundraisers.

Google’s clarification comes as some employees, who were attracted to work for the company by those incentives, hoped they could keep them after they were ordered to work from home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It also comes as executives prepare for what they said will be a difficult second quarter.

Last week, PYMNTs reported Alphabet, the parent company of Google, said its first-quarter consolidated revenues were up 13 percent year-over-year to $41.2 billion, better than consensus estimates by about $990 million. CEO Sundar Pichai and Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said during a conference call that March showed a significant decline as the impact of the pandemic became more widespread and advertising revenues dropped.

A company spokesperson declined to comment on the latest policies, only stating that the company has multiple efforts, including a COVID-19 small business fund and a San Francisco Bay Area COVID-19 Fund.

Many teams have budgets that were designated for internal events and travel that have gone unused as events have been canceled, according to the internal post. But those cannot be used for anything outside their original purposes.

“This includes sending snack boxes/gifts to Googlers or allowing teams to expense breakfast/lunch/dinner as part of virtual gatherings,” the company said, according to CNBC. “These policies help ensure reporting and tax compliance, as well as consistency and fairness for Googlers across teams.”