Google has said it will spend $1 billion to buy its office building near Court Road in Tottenham, London, as a bet on its employees returning to work.
The Silicon Valley giant is making moves, even as it’s also building a huge new headquarters in nearby King’s Cross, as it believes the office “is a place for face-to-face collaboration and connection”.
Along with its other offices in the UK, the acquisition of Central St Giles will give Google the capacity to accommodate 10,000 employees. It currently employs 6,400 people in the UK, but says it has added nearly 700 jobs over the past year, with 165 vacancies currently.
Investing in Central Saint Giles despite uncertainty over workers’ willingness to return to the office.
In England, vacancy rates have risen slightly during the pandemic, millions of square feet of office space have been close or convert Other uses, such as residences, serve as demands for workspace contracts.
Real estate agents expect the shift to more flexible work will make much of the market redundant in the coming years.
However, tenants and investors still need to meet the demand for high-end office buildings with environmental protection requirements strict emissions Target and participate in the war for talent.
Inside Google, “some” UK employees have decided to permanently switch to remote work, the company said. Globally, about 20% of workers are allowed to work from home full-time.
The company’s remote work policy has been revised and delayed several times during the pandemic. Most recently, it told employees that it aimed to work three days a week in office mode.
The search giant’s leadership has also taken a firm stance on vaccinations, announcing a slew of measures such as paid and unpaid leave for those who refuse to be vaccinated.
Google said some of its investments will include repurposing its existing office space, including creating “campfire” spaces to “de-densify” offices.
“We’ve had the privilege of operating in the UK for nearly 20 years, and our acquisition of the Central Saint Giles development reflects our continued commitment to the country’s growth and success,” Google Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said in a statement.
Google will become the owner of Central Saint Giles’ existing businesses, including NBCUniversal. Google said it doesn’t expect the acquisition to bring any changes to tenants.
Its King’s Cross campus broke ground in 2017 at a similar cost, but has yet to set a completion date.