How likely is google to change its stance on returning to the office? I’m evaluating 2 offers right now - both are very similar (pay, job function, etc.) except google is in-office. I’m so comfortable at home and can spend more time cooking and exercising when I’m not commuting. Google is obviously a better brand than my other offer, but I’m not sure if that is enough to make it worth it.

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I’d be surprised if they changed their stance across the company at this point. They’re pretty adamant about RTO.
It’ll be 3 days in office, not full 5

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Talk to your mgr to see what they plan to do. I'm in cloud and we have always had the flexibility to work from home as much as we want

I agree with G2. They expect everyone to get to 3x2 model and they have been pretty firm about it.

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What role is it? Sales?

It is going to depend a lot of your manager and the head of your department. When I was hired at the end of last year, the job posting and subsequent interview required relocation to MTV.

Since starting, everyone in my department has been approved for permanent remote work unexpectedly. This was due to a push from the department head and a pleasant surprise.

Contrary to what some have said and consistent with others, there's no one size fits all rule at google. Your org has some say in what the policy is. In many orgs you can be approved to work from home full time (that's how my 10k+ person org is), but it requires approval to do that so it's not universally granted (e.g. a particular role may require in person meetings with some people, it may be recommended for people new to the work force, etc.).

Remote work for new hires will not be approved very easily. But it might be after you demonstrate you can be trusted to do the work. Trust me -- getting an offer doesn't always equate that.
You may have flexibility for remote work down the line. I would think about the longer term benefits of being at a company like Google rather than focusing on the remote piece only.

My new offer was already approved remote before starting the interview process

As others said, really depends of the role and org. I have seen several engineers in my team get approved as permanent remote hire. They negotiated that after HC committee approved and required manager support and VP approval.

Not impossible, but you better crush interviews and have a flexible team.

Really? So you would let go of a Google offer simply because of wfh....? Why wouldn’t it be worth it. What’s a year or two of making this sacrifice. Google is a dream job for a lot of folks. You can exercise and get free food at Google...smh

People have different priorities. Let them be.

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