Google senior executive Urs Hölzle has angered employees with his remote work plans, prompting calls of hypocrisy on the part of the company.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai outlined the company’s remote work strategy in May. Employees will be required to spend three days in the office, with two allocated to remote work. Employees also have the option of changing the office they work out of, as well as applying for permanent remote work.
Urs Hölzle angered employees when he sent an email to employees announcing he would be working remotely from New Zealand, according to CNET. Employees believe Hölzle is receiving preferential treatment, while the average employee has to wade through a frustrating application process to be granted permanent remote work status.
The controversy surrounding Hölzle is just the latest HR difficulty Google is facing. The company has been accused of marginalizingwomen and minorities, has disenfranchised researchers over academic integrity and engaging in gender bias when it comes to employee compensation.
According to CNET, Google’s payment policy has further exacerbated the issue. While some companies, such as Reddit, have unified company pay — regardless of where an employee lives — Google has chosen to adjust pay according to the cost of living in various locations. This has led some employees to wonder to wonder if Hölzle is subject to the same rules, or if his pay will remain the same as if he were living in the US.
Some employees have already quit over the controversy, and there will likely be many more in the weeks to come.