"...There will be blood on the streets."
Crab cake lunches aren't enough to quell growing employee discomfort at Google. In late July, Googlers were told to get off their bean bag chairs and work — and now, upon the announcement that the company has extended a two-week hiring freeze, Insider reports that workers have grown increasingly alarmed at the new mandate that they actually do work.
With its sprawling campus and lavish perks, Google has built a reputation as a generous employer. But as one unnamed worker told Insider, the Silicon Valley giant has undergone a "real vibe shift" in recent weeks. And that new vibe, it seems, is very uneasy.
"The communication has been rude," another Googler told the outlet, "and it's threatening people to make sure we hit numbers."
The company is clearly pushing its workers to increase productivity. In an all-hands meeting a few weeks ago — shortly after disappointing quarterly earnings were announced — CEO Sundar Pichai reportedly told employees that "there are real concerns that our productivity as a whole is not where it needs to be for the head count we have," and "we should think about how we can minimize distractions and really raise the bar on both product excellence and productivity."
While Google has yet to announce any workforce cuts, its Googlers are worried that performance ratings might inform any pending layoff announcements. And considering that a screenshot obtained by Insider reportedly showed a manager explaining that if next quarter sales "don't look up, there will be blood on the streets," those fears, uh, definitely check out.
Bad Vibes Everywhere
Google isn't the only major tech player that's slowed or even frozen hiring. Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft have all made similar moves, while Elon Musk's Tesla recently cut a large chunk of its workforce. And according to a July speech from a very angry Mark Zuckerberg, the productivity-forward, mildly-threatening vibe shift seems industry-wide.
Nevertheless, it looks like Googlers have heard the message loud and clear.
"Volume has picked up and the busyness of the workday has picked up with how rough things have been," one unnamed contractor told Insider. "I haven't heard of reductions, but there are definitely no additions."
More on bad industry vibes: Angry Zuckerberg Complains about Employees Who "Shouldn't Be Here"