Tag Archives: Life at Google

How this engineer’s career break led her to Google

Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns and alumni about how they got to Google, what their roles are like and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today we spoke with Kiranmayi Bhamidimarri, a software engineer at our Bangalore office, who shares her story of joining Google after taking a year-and-a-half break from the workforce. 

What’s your role at Google?

I am a software engineer for Google Cloud, where I work on Cloud Spanner — a database management and storage service. My team is focused on developing introspection tools for this system, which help our customers better understand any issues with their Spanner databases. 

What was it like taking a break from the workforce?

Stepping back from the workforce marked a turning point in my life. Through a lot of reflection, I grew both as a person and as a professional during that period — even though I wasn’t working. For example, I discovered that I care deeply about diversity and inclusion in all aspects of my career, including the places I work. After taking the time to develop these bigger-picture perspectives and once I felt comfortable balancing things in my personal life, I started exploring returning to work. 

What made you decide to apply to Google?

I came across the concept of Carer’s Leave and what this benefit looks like at Google. When a family member or loved one falls seriously ill, Google's Carer's Leave policy allows employees to take the time they need to provide or find care for them. I liked the idea of working at a company that helps employees support their family in times of need. This led me to researching Google’s culture overall. I loved that Google is an inclusive place that would allow me to bring my whole self to work and not leave my personal life behind — which became especially important to me after my career break. 

How did you approach the Google application process after taking a career break?

At first, I was very nervous and told myself not to be too ambitious. I struggled with impostor syndrome and wasn’t sure if I would do well in the interviews, which I’d always heard were challenging. Then a friend who interviewed with Google shared her positive experience with me, and busted many myths. She explained, for example, that the interviews focus on thought process rather than the exact solution. She ultimately helped me realize my worth and put my best foot forward. 

What was the interview process like for you?

When I first decided to apply, I asked a friend who recently joined Google for advice. He guided me through the process and even helped me with a referral, but I was rejected at the resume screening phase. At the time, my resume didn't reflect my actual skills and experience. I didn’t list everything I’d worked on, because I was afraid I had forgotten too much during my break to explain or answer questions. I was shrinking myself into someone else so they wouldn't expect so much from me. 

My friend who referred me encouraged me to revamp my resume and try again. I reached out to some Google recruiters on LinkedIn, who took the time to speak with me and look at my updated resume. One of the recruiters set up a phone interview, and that kicked off the process. 

What’s one thing you wish you could go back and tell yourself before applying? 

It’s okay not to be perfect. During my phone interview, I answered one of the questions incorrectly. I was nervous and disappointed about the mistake, but the interviewer encouraged me to try again and I ultimately found the right solution. So I would tell myself that it's okay to make mistakes, as long as I learn from them and continue to grow. 

I would also reassure myself that I won't be treated differently because of my career break. That was a big fear of mine, and I'm so happy I was proven wrong. I am grateful to everyone at Google who spoke to me about my hesitations with returning to the workforce, and provided mentorship and support. Now six months in, I continue to feel valued and encouraged to bring every part of myself to work.


Extending our voluntary return to office

Our CEO, Sundar Pichai, sent the following email to Google employees earlier this morning. The email has been edited to remove internal links.

Hi Googlers,

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a humbling challenge for all of us and I continue to be impressed by the way our teams are navigating through it. In spite of these challenges, I’m happy to say that a large number of offices globally are already open for business, and we are welcoming back tens of thousands of Googlers on a voluntary basis. Given that conditions around the world are still highly variable, I wanted to share how we’re planning to approach the next few months:

  • First, as offices continue to reopen, we hope to see more teams coming together where possible, whether it be for regular team meetings, brainstorming sessions around a whiteboard, or outdoor socials. For some locations, conditions are starting to improve, yet in many parts of the world the pandemic continues to create uncertainty. Acknowledging that, we’ll extend our global voluntary return-to-office policy through January 10, 2022 to give more Googlers flexibility and choice as they ramp back. 

  • Beyond January 10, we will enable countries and locations to make determinations on when to end voluntary work-from-home based on local conditions, which vary greatly across our offices. To make sure everyone has ample time to plan, you’ll have a 30-day heads-up before you’re expected back in the office.

  • Finally, encouraging Googlers to rest and recharge during this time remains a big priority so we will plan two more global reset days next quarter: Oct 22 and Dec 17. 

The road ahead may be a little longer and bumpier than we hoped, yet I remain optimistic that we will get through it together. It’s heartening to see Googlers starting to come back to more offices globally. The ability to reconnect in person has been re-energizing for many of us, and will make us even more effective in the weeks and months ahead. Thanks for all the great work thus far; look forward to a busy Q4 as we continue to find new ways to be helpful to people everywhere. 

-Sundar

Growing Cloud in the Middle East with Dina Amin

Welcome to the latest installment of our blog series “My Path to Google.” These are real stories from Googlers, interns and alumni highlighting how they got to Google, what their roles are like and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today’s post is all about Dina Amin, the Head Of Cloud Marketing for the Middle East,Turkey and Africa. Dina is based out of our Dubai office, and has spent the past 15 years in the city after falling in love with it during a three-month stay. The Middle East is not only deeply rooted in her present but also in Dina’s past, growing up between the U.K., Jordan and Iraq. 

How would you describe your role at Google?

From a day-to-day perspective, my team and I are responsible for generating awareness of Google Cloud and Google Workspace products among existing and new customers. Our products help companies with their digital transformation ambitions so this is a particularly interesting challenge during a time when many companies are transitioning online! 

As part of my role, I have also been fortunate to be on the team responsible for some of the largest and most exciting geographic expansion projects that we are working on in Google Cloud.

What else are you involved with at Google outside of your core role?

I’m very involved with (and previously led) the [email protected] Chapter in the Middle East and North Africa. This role is one that I was very proud to hold because of the opportunity to help drive positive change in the company and our communities.

Outside of work, one of my favorite interests is being out at sea. My most recent adventure was getting my skipper license last year. Another way I make sure to get out to sea regularly is through wakesurfing, which Dubai’s weather makes possible all year round.

Dina on a Google bike outdoors.

What inspires you to log in every day?

I’m inspired by the  feeling of delivering moments for our sales team to connect with their customers. These moments truly bring the whole team together in a bonding experience.

One of my favorite and most powerful examples of this is Cloud Day, which is a one-day immersive event where Google Cloud executives, partners and customers share how the cloud is transforming business and improving the lives of people around the world. My team was able to deliver this format in two main hubs — Dubai and Istanbul, where more than 2,000 people joined us both in-person and digitally. Given we are a small team, it was a huge mission for us to achieve, and we are so proud to have done it!

What made you decide to apply to Google?

At the time, I was completing my masters in business and had heard that a guest speaker from Google was coming for a talk on campus. I was interested in learning more about the company and different opportunities, so I decided to attend. I showed up early to the talk, and saw that the speaker, who turned out to be the Managing Director of Google in the Middle East and North Africa, needed some help setting up. We  started talking, and I quickly realized how exciting this line of work sounded. The guest speaker encouraged me to apply, and I really got inspired after the talk so I decided Google could be a good fit for me.  

Almost six years later and two different job paths at Google, I definitely feel I made the right choice joining that talk and applying to Google. It truly shows you that you never know where any opportunity may lie.

Dina in a Noogler hat indoors.

What resources did you use to prepare for your interview?

I used a lot of different resources when preparing for my interview, but I think there are three that were the most useful. The first was reaching out to Googlers and meeting them to learn more about their experiences. This helped me understand more about the company and the Googlers, in their usual fashion, were very open to help! 

The second was utilizing my business school’s career counseling services. It’s a service that may be undervalued, but it makes all the difference to get guidance from counselors who have witnessed a variety of different career paths. 

The final resource was prepping with common interview questions to get more comfortable with these types of questions. Here’s a list of best practices, advice, and tips for interviewing at Google.

Any tips you’d like to share with aspiring Googlers?

Always keep in mind that a career path does not have to be linear. Each person has their own path to take that may have twists and turns. The key is to stick with it and keep searching for the path that sparks passion within you.

I was a computer science major, but I’ve experienced sales, marketing, operations, technology and strategy jobs while traveling or living in at least 15 countries. I loved these experiences as they helped me become a lot more comfortable and confident in knowing myself as a professional and knowing what I bring to the table.

Why this engineer says you only need to be 80% ready

When she was a student at the University of Colorado, Bhavna Chhabra was invited to be a research assistant on a project — and it ended up changing her life. “I was supposed to go back to India and get married,” says Bhavna. “I wasn’t going to pursue computer science.” But the professor who asked her to participate in the project had shown her an article about Arati Prabhakar, who’d recently been appointed the head of NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology). 

“This completely changed my mindset. She was originally from Delhi, India, my hometown, and that spoke to me. I saw myself in her. Twenty-five years later, here I am.” (Fun fact: That professor? His name is Mike Schwartz, and he’s also a Googler.) Bhavna, who’s an engineering director, is always happy to share her story — and here are three important lessons she learned.


The most challenging times can lead to the best things. 

In 2010, Bhavna was diagnosed with cancer. “I had no idea how I would fight this thing while continuing to show up as a mother,” she says. “I had two kids at the time, ages 6 and 8.” Bhavna tackled her frustration with the situation by giving herself the gift of trying new things. “My kids and I decided to learn to ski, climb and backpack,” she says. “We did it all!” Not only did Bhavna beat cancer, but she was promoted at the company where she worked at the time a year after her diagnosis — and her kids say it brought them closer as a family. 


Share your passion. 

In addition to mentoring women at Google who work all over the world, Bhavna also helps guide women in her community. “I use my megaphone in my public role as the overall manager of the Google Boulder office to reach out to women and girls at Colorado universities and high schools, participating in panels, speaking in small groups and classrooms and mentoring,” she says. Bhavna hopes that by sharing her non-traditional journey to Google, other women will consider pursuing STEM careers, too. 


Don’t wait until you’re “ready.” 

Something Bhavna’s learned is that there’s no such thing as the perfect time. “Just dive in when you think you are 80% ready,” she says. “And chances are, you’ll succeed.” Earlier in her career, Bhavna tried to plan things five or even 10 years in the future — but that rigid structure didn’t work. “Over time, I’ve learned to think about roles I want and be open to opportunities that arise that could help me get to that end goal.” 

How Olympians at Google handle hurdles at work

Clockwise, from top left: Kate Johnson, 2004 Olympics; Timothy Goebel, 2002 Olympics; Aleksandra Jarmolińska, 2020-2021 Olympics; Natalie Dell O’Brien, 2012 Olympics; Petri Kokko, 1994 Olympics; Matt Brittin, 1988 Olympics


Professional athletes are resilience experts. They’re constantly pushing their minds and bodies to new limits, all while staying motivated to reach their goals and tackle new challenges. If you don’t believe me, ask Matt Brittin. Matt is Google’s President of EMEA Business and Operations — as well as a former Olympian. Matt competed in the 1988 Olympics on the U.K. men’s rowing team, and he’s tapped into what got him to that stage in this last year. “We’re in a state of long term uncertainty and building resilience takes knowing yourself well and takes time,” he says. “It’s all about how you manage your energy and approach the unknown.”

As this year’s games come to a close, we asked Matt and several of other former Olympian Googlers to share how their experiences helped them in the workplace. 

Petri Kokko - Country Sales Director of Brands, former Olympic figure skater

“Giving your maximum doesn't help you achieve optimal results, but working optimally will help you achieve your maximum effort,” says Petri, who represented Finland in figure skating at the 1992 and 1994 Olympics. “And often people, especially motivated people, think that the more they work the more they achieve and that's not the case. We’re not trying to achieve our best tomorrow, we’re trying to develop ourselves over the years.” 

Petri falls back on his training to find a healthy work-life balance. He builds variation into his calendar, making sure some days and weeks are lighter, so he doesn’t burn out and can give his best over the long term. As an Olympic athlete, Petri learned the value of rest and recovery to avoid injuries and to deal with stress. At Google, mental health and wellbeing are highly valued, and these resources were expanded over the last year. 

Aleksandra Jarmolińska - Cloud Software Engineer, former Olympic sports shooter

Calling Aleksandra a “former” Olympian is nearly a misnomer — she just competed in this year’s games in Tokyo, as well as back in 2016. “I interviewed for my role at Google during the same month that I qualified for the Tokyo Games,” she says. Fresh off her competition, she says  an important lesson she’s learned in her athletic career that translates to work is to keep trying. “This may be a bit of a cliche, but I always appreciated Samuel Beckett’s philosophy of: ‘Try. Fail. Persist. Fail better.’”

In sports shooting, she explains, you can’t necessarily succeed with athleticism, you need to step back, clear your head and adapt. “This applies to lots of things — programming included,” Aleksandra says. “I cannot count the times I’ve started from scratch on some feature I worked on.”

Timothy Goebel - Marketing Mix Modeling Partner Manager, former Olympic figure skater

“It’s important to adapt instead of just giving up when things are challenging,” says Timothy, who won a bronze medal in figure skating for the U.S. in 2002.  “It’s about finding small wins, like effectively communicating with stakeholders and finding the humanity in each other. At the end of the day, we’re all teammates!” A strong, supportive community is just as important as the training itself, he says. 


Natalie Dell O’Brien - Head of Industry for U.S. Financial Services, former Olympic rower

“We see Olympians as individuals, but you might not realize there’s a village of people they put into their orbit to support them,” says Nataile, who won the bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in the quadruple rowing event for the United States. 

Like Petri, Natalie recalls her Olympic training schedule when tackling business planning, breaking things down into “digestible training blocks” and communicating smaller milestones with her team. But Natalie says her support system was  equally important to her professional athletic career and she continues to build a similar network at Google.  

“Some of the smartest decisions and biggest leaps in performance I made in my rowing career were made possible because I leaned on others for help,” Natalie said. “ And any time I’m up against a challenge at work, I remember that even Olympic athletes have ‘phone a friend’ moments. Vulnerability can lead to better performance.”

Kate Johnson - Marketing Director of Partnerships, Content & Sports Media, former Olympic rower

Kate, an American rower who won silver in 2004, joined Google during the pandemic, and it was challenging to virtually learn the culture and team dynamics. But she relied on the resiliency and prioritizing powers she’d honed as an athlete. 

“In rowing, there’s a tipping point where the harder you try to get out of a performance slump, the worse you perform. It’s a tricky balance,” Kate says. “When I'm in a rut like this, the solution isn’t to try harder. Instead, in these moments, it's more important to go for a hike, or go for a run, clear your mind, whatever…then come back with a different mindset.” 

Kate said she feels grateful to work at a company that prioritizes the overall health of its employees, which became increasingly important when Kate was diagnosed with breast cancer in May of this year. Kate makes use of Google's flexible leave offerings to manage her health, while communicating with her stakeholders to set expectations in a time when she needs to focus on her personal health and wellbeing. As Kate puts it, “remember that our personal worth is not tied to performance.” 

Persistence paid off for intern James Frater

Welcome to the latest edition of “My Path to Google,” where we talk to Googlers, interns and alumni about how they got to Google, what their roles are like and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Today we spoke with James Frater, a business intern working virtually in London. Learn how James’s passion for equitable solutions and love of learning brought him to Google.

What do you do at Google?

I am a Business Development Representative Intern for Google Cloud working in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. In the role, I help leaders within organizations to work through their specific pain points and match them up with the arsenal of specific solutions that Google has to meet their needs. 

I am fortunate to be in one of the most supportive and encouraging teams I have ever had the pleasure of working in. It means that everyday when I wake up, I look forward to coming to work because I know that irrespective of the challenges that lie ahead, I have a team that will support me.

What made you decide to apply to Google?

My decision to apply to Google was simple. I wanted to be somewhere that allowed me to build sustainable and scalable tech solutions that measurably improved the lives of the people that needed the most help. In particular, a long term goal of mine is to make sure that everyone in the Caribbean has access to good healthcare, education and technology that makes their lives easier. Google is a positive and transformative vehicle that serves the needs of billions of people. I wanted to be a part of that.

I had applied to Google before; this was the third year in a row, in fact! I was really determined to get in because I knew what a great opportunity this was and I really believe I had what it took to be a Googler. I was fortunate enough to attend a Google Black talent event in 2020 and I was able to get some really great advice about applications. For example, in the interview it’s less about arriving at the right answer and more about the thought process. Being able to ask clarifying questions, especially when you’re not sure, will impress your interviewer. It was definitely third time lucky for me!

How would you describe your path to Google?

My path to my current role was… unconventional to say the least. I am a medical student, who has completed a management degree and also dabbles in efforts to reduce inequitable access to opportunities. I have completed internships in insurance, professional services, education and technology.

A picture of James Frater smiling

James Frater

What’s something you’re working on outside your internship?

I am very passionate about the structural challenges that a lot of underrepresented groups face, so I work to make access to institutions (primarily educational) more equitable. I co-founded The Ladder Project CIC which is a social enterprise that helps to holistically develop young people through a series of online and in-person workshops. Our mission is to ensure that all students leaving school are equipped with the skills required to succeed in the world of work and in higher education. Having projects and interests outside of my internship is something that has been encouraged, so it really gives me the confidence to bring my whole self to work.

What’s one thing you wish you could go back and tell yourself before applying?

"Relax!" is probably the main thing but some more practical things are:

  1. Qualify everything you say on your CV/resume. Put numbers and percentages, talk about the impact your work had and its significance in context.

  2. In interviews, it is okay — and encouraged — to talk through your thinking, especially when you are not sure.

  3. Enjoy the process.

Any tips for aspiring Googlers?

Start creating solutions that help people. You don't have to wait until you get into a role to start doing things you are passionate about. I started doing talks and workshops for young people. From that, I co-founded The Ladder Project to help even more young people. It will also make your application stand out if you are able to demonstrate that level of initiative.

New investment in Aotearoa New Zealand

New Zealand is often described as an ‘island of innovation’, and when it comes to technology, it’s true that we Kiwis regularly punch above our weight. At the same time, there’s always more progress to be made, and greater opportunities ahead


As we approach 15 years on the ground in New Zealand, Google is investing to put down stronger roots here — including by establishing an engineering presence in Auckland.


This week, our teams move into the first purpose-built Google office in Auckland, a space that has been designed to bring the best of Aotearoa to Google — giving visitors a taste of the diverse landscapes that New Zealand is known for around the world. We have kayaks for a reception desk, the largest digital ceiling in New Zealand and a cafe that takes its likeness from a chilly bin (or a ‘cooler’, as some people call them 😉). Teams will use our new “Pāua” event space to host business leaders, technologists and the wider community. And the space as a whole has been designed to suit our new hybrid approach to work.

With space to grow, we'll also start recruiting Google’s first New Zealand-based engineers. We hope to attract local software talent, engage research institutions and contribute to the understanding and application of machine learning and artificial intelligence in Aotearoa.


In addition to our new office and engineering presence, we’ve launched a new Google Cloud Dedicated Interconnect location in Auckland and our second Australia-New Zealand Google Cloud region, in Melbourne. This investment will help us better serve our local Cloud customers, connecting New Zealand to Google’s private secure network and ensuring customer data never traverses the public internet. 


Kiwi organisations like Trade Me and ANZ are already using Google’s Cloud capabilities, and our expanded footprint means we can help more businesses take advantage of the cleanest cloud in the industry.   


I’m so proud of the work our teams do to support New Zealand’s businesses, communities, nonprofits and governments. With these new commitments, we’re more focused than ever on building a better future for all Kiwis.

New investment in Aotearoa New Zealand

New Zealand is often described as an ‘island of innovation’, and when it comes to technology, it’s true that we Kiwis regularly punch above our weight. At the same time, there’s always more progress to be made, and greater opportunities ahead


As we approach 15 years on the ground in New Zealand, Google is investing to put down stronger roots here — including by establishing an engineering presence in Auckland.


This week, our teams move into the first purpose-built Google office in Auckland, a space that has been designed to bring the best of Aotearoa to Google — giving visitors a taste of the diverse landscapes that New Zealand is known for around the world. We have kayaks for a reception desk, the largest digital ceiling in New Zealand and a cafe that takes its likeness from a chilly bin (or a ‘cooler’, as some people call them 😉). Teams will use our new “Pāua” event space to host business leaders, technologists and the wider community. And the space as a whole has been designed to suit our new hybrid approach to work.

With space to grow, we'll also start recruiting Google’s first New Zealand-based engineers. We hope to attract local software talent, engage research institutions and contribute to the understanding and application of machine learning and artificial intelligence in Aotearoa.


In addition to our new office and engineering presence, we’ve launched a new Google Cloud Dedicated Interconnect location in Auckland and our second Australia-New Zealand Google Cloud region, in Melbourne. This investment will help us better serve our local Cloud customers, connecting New Zealand to Google’s private secure network and ensuring customer data never traverses the public internet. 


Kiwi organisations like Trade Me and ANZ are already using Google’s Cloud capabilities, and our expanded footprint means we can help more businesses take advantage of the cleanest cloud in the industry.   


I’m so proud of the work our teams do to support New Zealand’s businesses, communities, nonprofits and governments. With these new commitments, we’re more focused than ever on building a better future for all Kiwis.

Google interns take on 2021

When I applied to be an intern at Google, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. But I knew what I was hoping for: a collaborative culture, to work on interesting new technology, and, of course, one of those colorful propeller hats. 

Still, I had no idea what part of the company I should work in, and I was worried about completing an entire internship remotely from my bedroom. I eventually was placed on the Global Communications and Public Affairs team — a specialty that was new to me. All my anxieties disintegrated when I met the Googlers who guided me through the internship process. I was welcomed onto a team that didn’t expect me to have everything figured out. They just wanted to support me.

During my internship, I’ve been encouraged to ask questions and given the resources to explore what interests me. Google is focused on continuous learning, and its internships are no exception. I may spend my morning interviewing a team lead about a product launch, followed by a coffee chat to learn about new Search features, and finish my day strategizing for this blog post. 

But my favorite part of my internship has been connecting with Googlers from all over the world and helping share their stories. This year, Google’s 3,500+ interns (who come from more than 400 universities and more than 40 countries) have been collaborating on and leading all kinds of meaningful projects. As we celebrate International Intern Day today, I spoke with a few members of my intern class about the work they’re doing at Google and what they’ve learned so far.

Making a real impact

Woman smiling with Noogler hat

Meet Sarah

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

As a PhD candidate studying human-computer interaction, Sarah is used to designing new ways for people to utilize technology. She has spent her internship researching how a device could be helpful to people with hearing loss who might lipread. As part of her work on the Hearing Accessibility team, she tested a bracelet that can translate audio into tactile vibrations, which can provide an added layer of communication in addition to lipreading. 

New to the area of hearing accessibility, Sarah quickly dove into the existing research, studying sound processing, phonetics and what makes lipreading both difficult and useful. 

“At the start of the internship I built a tool to help people practice with the devices,” Sarah says. “It also lets us run experiments with the devices remotely, and I’ve been really excited by what we’ve been able to learn with this tool over the last few weeks. It’s great to work on something that my teammates as well as our pilot users get value from.”

Work that’s never been done


Man in front of monitor with Noogler hat

Meet Lino

Berlin, Germany

Lino has spent his internship creating a central hub that helps direct Sales teams to relevant support resources and services. When he started, Lino wasn’t told to build a specific product. Instead, Lino’s team explained their problem and supported him while he worked on a solution. Through his project, he’s learned how to thrive in ambiguity.  

“Many of the things we do at Google haven’t been done before,” Lino says. “There’s no manual. It can be challenging to not have a step-by-step guide to follow, but really creating something from the ground up has been a very exciting experience.”

Learning with others

Woman next to monitor wearing a Google shirt

Meet Dana

Los Angeles, California

Throughout her internship, Dana has been working with Google Video Partners to grow a new format for audio ads. She’s partnered with various Google engineers to explore ideas like expanding to new inventory and making ad content more engaging. Did I mention she’s only a little more than half way through her 12-week internship? While working, Dana’s also built relationships with her peers. 

“Working virtually is nudging me to be more intentional about reaching out,” she says. “A highlight for me was when a team member organized a waffle-making event. Imagine 12 people on video call flipping waffles! It just made me so happy.”

Creating new opportunities


Man smiling with Noogler hat

Meet João

São Paulo, Brazil

Balancing two projects, João worked as the technical point of contact for customers at Google Cloud Brazil, and analyzed team productivity at Google using AI. During his internship, he took advantage of Google’s career resources, earning two engineering certificates. The best part is that his time at Google isn’t over: Since João’s internship ended a few weeks ago, he accepted a full-time role.

“I'm very glad that my relationship with Google is only beginning,” João says. “It feels like every single contribution I made as an intern had an impact and it’s great to know there’s even more to come.”


Vaccines and our return-to-office plans

Sundar sent the following email to Google employees earlier this morning. The email has been edited to remove internal links. 

Hi everyone,

I hope you are all taking good care. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve put the wellbeing of our Google community front and center. We’ve done this while also taking care of our customers and partners, launching over 200 new products and features to help people and businesses navigate this difficult time. 

In March of 2020, we made the early decision to send employees home to slow down the spread of COVID. Since then, we’ve extended our Carer’s Leave coverage to help employees care for loved ones. We’ve continued to cover the full wages of on campus workers who couldn't perform their jobs because of office closures. And, we’ve made sure that Googlers and our extended workforce have access to vaccines as soon as they are available locally. Additionally, thanks to the generosity of Googlers and support from Google.org, we've helped Gavi to fully vaccinate over 1 million people in low-and middle-income countries globally. 

Even as the virus continues to surge in many parts of the world, it’s encouraging to see very high vaccination rates for our Google community in areas where vaccines are widely available. This is a big reason why we felt comfortable opening some of our offices to employees who wanted to return early. And I have to say it’s been great to see Googlers brainstorming around whiteboards and enjoying meals in cafes again in the many offices that have already re-opened globally. 

Getting vaccinated is one of the most important ways to keep ourselves and our communities healthy in the months ahead. As we look toward a global return to our offices, I wanted to share two key updates:

  • First, anyone coming to work on our campuses will need to be vaccinated. We’re rolling this policy out in the U.S. in the coming weeks and will expand to other regions in the coming months. The implementation will vary according to local conditions and regulations, and will not apply until vaccines are widely available in your area. You’ll get guidance from your local leads about how this will affect you, and we’ll also share more details on an exceptions process for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or other protected reasons.

  • Second, we are extending our global voluntary work-from-home policy through October 18.We are excited that we’ve started to re-open our campuses and encourage Googlers who feel safe coming to sites that have already opened to continue doing so. At the same time, we recognize that many Googlers are seeing spikes in their communities caused by the Delta variant and are concerned about returning to the office. This extension will allow us time to ramp back into work while providing flexibility for those who need it. We’ll continue watching the data carefully and let you know at least 30 days in advance before transitioning into our full return to office plans. For those of you with special circumstances, we will soon be sharing expanded temporary work options that will allow you to apply to work from home through the end of 2021. We’re also extending Expanded Carer’s Leave through the end of the year for parents and caregivers.

I know that many of you continue to deal with very challenging circumstances related to the pandemic. While there is much that remains outside of our control, I’m proud of the way we continue to take care of each other while helping people, businesses and communities through these difficult times.  

I hope these steps will give everyone greater peace of mind as offices reopen. Seeing Googlers together in the offices these past few weeks filled me with optimism, and I’m looking forward to brighter days ahead. 

-Sundar