Image credit: Pollitt & Partners 2015
For almost two decades Google has been proud to have a home in the UK. Today, we have more than 6,400 employees and last year we added nearly 700 new people. We also strengthened our commitment to the UK in 2021 with the laying of a new subsea cable — Grace Hopper — which runs between the United States and the UK.
Building on our long-term commitment to the UK, we are purchasing the Central Saint Giles development — the site many Googlers have long called home — for $1 billion. Based in London’s thriving West End, our investment in this striking Renzo Piano-designed development represents our continued confidence in the office as a place for in-person collaboration and connection.
Across all our UK sites, Google will have capacity for 10,000 employees, as we continue to commit to the UK’s growth and success. This includes our new King’s Cross development, which is currently under construction.
Investing in the future flexible workplace
We believe that the future of work is flexibility. Whilst the majority of our UK employees want to be on-site some of the time, they also want the flexibility of working from home a couple of days a week. Some of our people will want to be fully remote. Our future UK workplace has room for all of those possibilities.
Over the next few years, we’ll be embarking on a multi-million pound refurbishment of our offices within Central Saint Giles to ensure that they are best equipped to meet the needs of our future workplace.
We'll be introducing new types of collaboration spaces for in-person teamwork, as well as creating more overall space to improve wellbeing. We’ll introduce team pods, which are flexible new space types that can be reconfigured in multiple ways, supporting focused work, collaboration or both, based on team needs. The new refurbishment will also feature outdoor covered working spaces to enable work in the fresh air.
Supporting digital growth across the UK
More than ever, technology is enabling people and businesses across the UK. In 2021, we achieved our target to help one million small British businesses stay open by helping them be found online.
It’s important that everyone is able to take advantage of the increasing innovation in the UK and grow skill sets to prepare for the jobs of the present and the future. Since we launched our Digital Garage programme in Leeds in 2015, we have provided free digital skills training to more than 700,000 people across the UK .
Thousands more UK jobseekers will also be helped to upgrade their digital skills in 2022 thanks to our expanded partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Nearly 10,000 job-seekers are able to gain access to free scholarships to earn a Google Careers Certificate in high-growth, high-demand career fields including IT support, data analysis, project management and UX design.
We’re optimistic about the potential of digital technology to drive an inclusive and sustainable future in the UK. We’re excited to be making this investment in January as a fitting way to start the new year.