Google`s Post-Pandemic Multi-Purpose Workplace Design

Google`s Post-Pandemic Multi-Purpose Workplace Design
Case Code: CLHR097
Case Length: 6 Pages
Period: 2020-2022
Pub Date: 2024
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.400
Organization: Google LLC
Industry: Technology & Communications
Countries: United States
Themes: Employee Attitudes & Emotions, HR Policy, Stress & Motivation, Organizational Culture
Google`s Post-Pandemic Multi-Purpose Workplace Design


The case is useful for teaching students courses in HRM and Organizational Behavior with an emphasis on the relationship between office design and organizational culture.

The case touches upon the early office design initiatives at Google including at its headquarters Googolplex. Next, it describes in detail how Google’s Real Estate and Workplace Services team (REWS) focused on redesigning the existing office spaces in 2022 and creating and testing new multi-purpose offices and private workspaces to enable employees to collaborate effectively across work environments. Google designed Team Pods with chairs, desks, white boards, and storage units on casters that could be shifted based on requirements of various teams.

To help ensure equal participation among those in office and those joining virtually through video conferencing, REWS designed a new meeting room called Campfire. The company also built dynamic hot-desks for its employees who did not need a permanent desktop. To reduce distractions and unwanted glare, Google designed leaf-shaped partitions known as petals. The company also focused on large themed outdoor workspaces.

Given the reluctance employees were showing in returning to office, how can Google motivate them to do so? Would an office redesign be sufficient? What else could be considered to make this transition successful?


  • Explain Herzberg’s two-factor theory .
  • Discuss the concept of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation.
  • Identify the role of workplace design in motivating employees.
  • Examine the relationship between office design and the organizational culture in an organization.


Google LLC, (Google) was one of the first multinational companies to permit its employees to work from home when the Corona virus pandemic began in early 2020. In December 2020, Google CEO Sundar Pichai (Pichai) in a memo to employees, announced plans for a ‘hybrid workforce model’ where employees would work from office three days in a week. Most Google employees who had been doing remote work due to the pandemic had become used to a life without commutes and to spending more quality time with family. The majority of them were therefore not willing to return to the workplace. The company announced that in its annual employee survey ‘Googlegeist’ conducted in February 2021, over 70 percent of the 110,000 employees polled had been in favor of working from home.


Employee motivation; Workplace collaboration; Workplace design; Employee Satisfaction; Components of Organizational Culture; Employee attitudes; Workplace culture;

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