Google Sustainability and Labor Relations

Google has earned many loyal customers/users not only by the deliverance of products and services that are great in the market but by also holding itself in a higher standard on its operations and treatment of customers. It has earned and maintained its repute as a trustworthy company by continually making progress in communication and interaction with users as well as safeguarding the privacy and security of personal information and giving their customers a platform where they can freely advance their freedom of expression. It always preoccupied itself with making useful products, features, and services to its customers by encouraging each employee to take action and stay responsive to customer needs in a view to improving them (Google Code of Conduct). Therefore, Google understands that employees are very important to the existence of any company.

Google Corporation has endeavored to revolutionize the working environment for its workers by building a strong work culture. This culture has been augmented by hiring and developing a smart and talented employee, and by its provision of a sustainable working environment. Its Human resource department, or as it is referred as Peoples Operation works around the clock to ensure that employees are accorded the requisite conditions for better job performance and enhance personal development. The Peoples Operation functions to hire Googlers, refine google programs, develop talent and work on ways of making work enjoyable for workers (Search Jobs). All this has been possible by incorporation and implementation of two important organizational aspects; sustainability and labor relations. This paper, therefore, aims at analyzing sustainability and labor relations, their challenges and probable solutions in Google Company.

Google values sustainability and thus incorporate it into all of their activities. Google believes in the significance of inclusion, science, transparency, and dedication to the environment at large. Since their inception, it has been Google’s fundamental value to conduct their business in an environmentally sustainable manner (Approach). Currently, Google has joined forces with energy and policy experts, sustainability experts, software engineers including several creative tinkers with an effort to improve productivity in an efficient and sustainable manner. Google has as well dedicated itself to be carbon neutral by adopting energy efficiency innovations, using renewable energy and maintaining carbon offsets.

Work sustainability, happiness, and human health are so essential aspects of the organization. Therefore, Google has enhanced this by constructing new comfortable offices. The organization has incorporated third-party rating systems in order to achieve this. These third-party systems for rating include; WELL Building Standard, Leadership in Energy and Environment (LEED) and Living Building Challenge (Approach). At the moment, many Google’s offices have attained LEED certification and other green building certifications. Google, therefore, always complies with green building standards when applicable through the use of their own Portico to harness recyclable non-toxic materials.

Moreover, as a strategy to strengthen the ecosystem, Google has exploited a science and community-driven strategy to improve access and interaction with its employees and the neighboring community (Approach). They have as well taken a great step towards a green economy by installing renewable energy such as solar panels in their workplaces. Google has adopted technologies that help to save water and ensure proper use of water is observed in order to minimize water footprint which is evident by the decreasing rate of water consumption per Googler. Google as well has a proper waste management system which struggles to minimize waste as much as they can, and find alternative methods to avoid dumping the waste they produce onto landfills.

Google has strived to facilitate commuting and movement within its campuses through its transportation team. Google save their employees from stress involving movement within their campuses by providing shuttles. As a result, the organization has managed to attain its long-term target through minimizing single occupancy vehicles that commute within the campus to forty-five percent (Wang). In addition to that, Google has provided about ten percent parking space including electric-vehicle charging stations. The introduction of these shuttle buses along with electric vehicles in the organization’s Bay Area has facilitated the reduction of carbon emission.

Google labor relation policies cuts across from the board members to employees and by extension to contractor, consultant and other service provider and failure to adhere to this usually leads to disciplinary actions which may include but not limited to termination of work or contracts. Google commits itself to providing a supportive environment for workers to exploit their full potential. It is expected of every worker to endeavor to promote a culture of work that is harassment-free, no bullying, free of prejudice, and non-discriminatory at all costs.  Google forbids any kind of harassment or discrimination of any kind by anyone within the organization or its vendors and apt investigation and action are taken to punish the perpetrators (Google Code of Conduct).

Google holds confidentiality as a key factor for its functionality. Labor relations code sets out on non-disclosure of confidential information as this could cut on competitiveness and prove costly in any other way. Employees are expected to act in the discretion of Google product and services and those of their business partners that are not yet in the public domain. Google places pertinence on google assets protection. These include protection of intellectual property of Google and its workers, company resources, employees’ devices and employee data in order to safeguard them at all costs. Financial integrity and responsibility for both the company and workers are expected to be upheld (Google Code of Conduct). Google expects its workers to comply with laws and regulations and work in line with requirements and forbiddances of the federal and any other laws.

As much as Google has strived to achieve sustainability, it has as well faced some challenges. Google has brought congestion resulting to increased prices in real estates within its neighboring locality because it has commercialized the area. This financially strains and forces the employees to live in suburbs areas far away from the organization (Google’s headquarters). Google poses another challenge to environmental issues especially when transporting large commuting employees to their suburb offices in the company’s vehicle. The vehicles of the company and those of the employees cause environmental pollution including infrastructure damage (roads) as they commute to and back from work.

As a solution to these challenges, Google should consider coming up with a project to include housing of its employees preferably near or within the campus. Providing housing for employees will help reduce environmental pollution and strain of infrastructures (roads) since employees will not have to use their vehicles commute to work (Google’s headquarters). To address this environmental challenge, Google should ensure that employees living near the campus should not drive to work but rather foot in order to avoid the environmental pollution caused by vehicles.

These labor relations have had its share of challenges. For instance, the turn over for women employees in the recent past has been increasing (Entis). This could mean that maybe the work environment could be discriminatory despite Google’s endeavors to avert any discrimination. There are claims of google disrespecting worker’s intellectual property in that a person may make a personal innovation but Google takes it and takes credit for it, and sometimes the innovations of former employees are used without their consent. Employees are fired for speaking out their minds which is a contravention of the right to speech.  

The probable solution to mitigating and averting these challenges, Google needs to embrace a few policies in the labor relations. They include; engaging their female employees more in the management so that the plights of their counterparts can be addressed fully. Women employees need to be given more maternity leaves during pregnancy period (How Google Became a Great Place to Work).  Google should have a consent form where it clearly sets out its practices on intellectual property and commitment to respect other’s intellectual property like innovations. Proper policies and guidelines for the freedom of speech must be put in place and implemented in order to give everyone a chance to openly give their views without any kind of intimidation.

Google has successfully integrated the aspects of sustainability and labor relations in its operations. This practice has created a motivated working environment and therefore workers are able to increase their productivity, which has enabled Google to achieve its organizational goals and leveraged it a competitive advantage in the rush for employees by tech-companies for best talents in the field. Albeit the challenges that this paper has highlighted have weighed down its operations, Google has earned reputation and maintained its space in the market.