July 2021
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Google Is Testing Outdoor Workspaces

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Many professionals who have been working from home have mixed emotions about returning to the office and reuniting with gray cubicles and windowless workspaces. Google, which according to press reports has announced a partial return for its staff in September, is adding new options to its cutting-edge workspaces.

According to a New York Times article, the tech giant has planned new outdoor work areas for several of its campuses. Already, Google has transformed a parking area and greenspace at its Silicon Valley campus into an outdoor work oasis, complete with tables, chairs, multiple open-air tents, and large teepees outfitted with advanced videoconferencing technology. Camp Charleston is about the size of four tennis courts, offering both grass and wooden deck flooring.

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Gitlab, an all-remote tech company, recently surveyed more than 200 professionals for its Out of the Office report and unearthed interesting findings. When researchers asked workers what matters most to them when choosing a work location, nearly half of respondents said nature and space outdoors. While fears of viral transmission may have contributed to Google's decision to build outdoor workspaces, Gitlab's research may be an added incentive for more employers to think beyond the cubicle.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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