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A closer look at one Googler’s flexible work week

In January, we announced expanded leave benefits to help Googlers support their families and loved ones, and encourage employees to take time for themselves. We recently spoke with Googler Patricia Torres, who’s using leave benefits to spend more time with her family.What’s your role at Google?I’m a Program Manager based in Sydney, leading talent development…

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In January, we announced expanded leave benefits to help Googlers support their families and loved ones, and encourage employees to take time for themselves. We recently spoke with Googler Patricia Torres, who’s using leave benefits to spend more time with her family.

What’s your role at Google?

I’m a Program Manager based in Sydney, leading talent development programs for university students. My team provides scholarship grants to help students pursuing computer science degrees build their technical skills and become leaders in the field.

Tell us about your Google career journey.

I joined Google in 2016 as an Operations Specialist for the Talent and Outreach Programs team. My daughter Natasha was one and a half years old at the time. As a new parent, I felt guilty about leaving her in daycare — she cried every day for seven months straight! During this time, I worked three days a week, which allowed me to take care of my daughter and still get my work done. Once Natasha turned three, I moved to a four-day work week. Since then, I’ve had five different roles at Google.

What’s your typical workday like?

My days center around my family. After checking emails and eating breakfast, my husband Chris and I take turns getting Natasha ready for school. I usually sign off around 5:30 p.m. and have dinner with my family. We have a nightly routine where we share challenges and what we’re grateful for — it’s been an eye-opening experience for all of us! Because of the time differences between Australia and the U.S. and Europe, where the rest of my team is based, I’ll sometimes jump on conference calls in the evening.

How has the pandemic affected the way you work?

COVID-19 has presented challenges for everybody. For me, the hardest part was balancing childcare with work. When my daughter’s school closed for in-person classes, my husband and I became teachers overnight. It was a huge relief when Google extended their Carer’s Leave policy, which provides time off for parents or caregivers to support children or other family members due to COVID. Over the next few months, Chris and I worked half days, taking turns to make sure Natasha finished her schoolwork. On top of that, my mum was sick and in the hospital. Having the flexibility to work from the hospital and spend time with her before she passed was so important to me. Chris and I are both lucky to work for organizations that prioritize our health, well-being and families.

What advice would you give to others about flexible work?

Prioritization is key. Every month, I put together a schedule for my work and home responsibilities. For my job, I schedule back-to-back meetings on set days and times and block out periods to execute my work — communicating these in advance to my manager, team and stakeholders. At home, we plan meals (and who is going to cook) a week in advance, and we figure out who will take Natasha to her many activities.

Thankfully, I’ve had supportive managers throughout the pandemic who have been understanding of the challenges we faced as a family. My managers told me to take the time I needed and offered an even more flexible work week when I returned from Carer’s Leave. Google has been there to support me and it’s made all the difference — helping our family stay happy and healthy in a time that’s been tough for so many people.

Learn more about Patricia’s story and Google’s benefits.

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A milestone for King’s Cross: a local innovation hub

Over the last few years, King’s Cross has truly transformed, becoming a thriving hub of innovation and creativity. The transformation is a sign of the UK’s strengths, with its incredible local talent and strong history of leading technological and scientific progress. These strengths inspired us to invest here in King’s Cross, in one of our…

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Over the last few years, King’s Cross has truly transformed, becoming a thriving hub of innovation and creativity. The transformation is a sign of the UK’s strengths, with its incredible local talent and strong history of leading technological and scientific progress. These strengths inspired us to invest here in King’s Cross, in one of our most ambitious developments to date.

Today, together with local MP, Keir Starmer, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, leader of Camden Council Georgia Gould, and our building partners, we celebrated a major milestone in the construction of our new King’s Cross office – and in our long-standing commitment to the UK – as we placed the final beam on our new development.

Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party and MP for Holborn and St Pancras said:

“It’s fantastic to attend not only as the leader of the Labour Party and local MP but as a proud local resident of more than 25 years. Congratulations to Google on your magnificent new building, and for all it represents – a seizing of opportunity, harnessing of talent, the creation of good, sustainable jobs and an immense contribution to our community. You’re showing what can be achieved when forward looking local government partners with the ingenuity of the private sector.”

We have long believed that creativity is spurred by environments that promote connection and wellbeing. This is more important than ever as we adapt to a future of flexible, hybrid working. Our new King’s Cross building will be equipped with new workplace technologies to help global and remote teams collaborate more effectively, build relationships, learn from colleagues and dream up new ways to solve complex challenges.

It will also be a place for community and connection thanks to the ground floor retail and community spaces, which are being curated with — and for — the local community. In the coming weeks, in partnership with more than 30 youth organisations in Camden, we’re excited to open our doors to 500 local young people for a week of taster sessions to inspire school students and job seekers with careers in technology, as well as more than 100 local work experience students.

Innovation extends to the design of the building itself, which is playing an important role in helping us to achieve our goal of going carbon free by 2030. We’re pioneering new technologies that will make our King’s Cross office our most ambitious smart building to date, including a system of 13,500 interconnected devices that will work together to improve energy efficiency in real time.

While the doors of our new King’s Cross development won’t open until 2024, incredible work is already underway nearby. The neighbourhood is home to thousands of our engineers working on products like Android, Wear OS, Search and Google Business Profiles, which are used the world over. In fact, many of the team behind some of our newest products – to be released later this year – are based right here in King’s Cross. We look forward to growing these teams and being a part of the local community’s future growth and development.

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Protecting people’s privacy on health topics

Privacy matters to people — especially around topics such as their health. Given that these issues apply to healthcare providers, telecommunications companies, banks, tech platforms, and many more, we know privacy protections cannot be solely up to individual companies or states acting individually. That’s why we’ve long advocated for a comprehensive and nationwide U.S. privacy…

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Privacy matters to people — especially around topics such as their health. Given that these issues apply to healthcare providers, telecommunications companies, banks, tech platforms, and many more, we know privacy protections cannot be solely up to individual companies or states acting individually. That’s why we’ve long advocated for a comprehensive and nationwide U.S. privacy law that guarantees protections for everyone, and we’re pleased to see recent progress in Congress.

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Google and U.S. developers find agreement over Google Play store

Finally, we’ve heard developers want to understand more about how Google Play operates, which is why we’ve agreed to publish annual transparency reports. The reports will share information about the Google Play Store, including statistics such as apps removed from Google Play, account terminations, and other data regarding how users interact with Google Play. Source

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Finally, we’ve heard developers want to understand more about how Google Play operates, which is why we’ve agreed to publish annual transparency reports. The reports will share information about the Google Play Store, including statistics such as apps removed from Google Play, account terminations, and other data regarding how users interact with Google Play.

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