Google to move to hybrid workplace model: Sundar Pichai – ET RealEstate

NEW DELHI: Google will move to a hybrid work week, where most Googlers spend approximately three days in the office and two days “wherever they work best”, according to a note by Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai.

About 20 per cent of Google’s workforce will continue to work remotely after its offices reopen later this year, while about 60 per cent Googlers will come together in the office for a few days a week, Pichai said.

“Since in-office time will be focused on collaboration, your product areas and functions will help decide which days teams will come together in the office. There will also be roles that may need to be on site more than three days a week due to the nature of the work,” he added.

The India-born executive also noted that the company will offer opportunities for employees to apply for completely remote work (away from team or office) based on their role and team needs.

As per the financial details released in Q1 2021, Google has 139,995 full time employees worldwide. While Google doesn’t disclose country-specific headcount, the company is estimated to have over 4,000 people in India.

Google has been investing in India as a strategic hub for its global product development. It has been expanding its employee base across product areas like Search, Cloud, Payments, AI research and has presence in four cities like Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Gurugram.

“Before the pandemic, we had thousands of people working in locations separate from their core teams. I fully expect those numbers to increase in the coming months as we develop more remote roles, including fully all-remote sub teams…

“Taken together these changes will result in a workforce where around 60 per cent of Googlers are coming together in the office a few days a week, another 20 per cent are working in new office locations, and 20 per cent are working from home,” he said.

Google staff will also be able to temporarily work from a location other than their main office for up to 4 weeks per year (with manager approval) going forward. The company will also continue to offer extra “reset” days to help employees recharge during the pandemic in 2021.

“I am profoundly optimistic that once we do, we will be able to come back together in our offices to see all the people we have missed. And we’ll be able to work together in entirely new ways that improve both our work and our lives. The future of work is flexibility,” he said.



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HDFC extends funding of Rs 200 crore to DivyaSree’s Bengaluru commercial project – ET RealEstate

MUMBAI: Housing Development Finance Corp has extended Rs 200 crore funding to realty developer DivyaSree Infrastructure Projects for construction of a part of the commercial project Technopolis in Bengaluru, said two persons with direct knowledge of the development.

The non-banking finance company will charge below 11% interest for the loan with a total tenure of 48 months.

The construction finance loan is expected to be repaid in one single bullet payment of Rs 200 crore at the end of 48 month from the date of first disbursement or earlier at the option to be exercised by HDFC.

The loan will be serviced through monthly interest during this period.

The Bengaluru-based developer will be using the funds for construction of nearly 1 million sq ft development spread over 10 floors of Technopolis project.

The office building has been designed and being constructed as a built-to-suit project for a specific customer.

“As part of the agreement, the borrower has created an exclusive mortgage and charge over the said property in favor of HDFC,” said one of the persons mentioned above.

Technopolis is a 68-acre mixed-use project with a total development potential of 5.5 million sq ft, including commercial office spaces, residential villas and luxury apartments.

The under construction office spaces in this project are being developed as built-to-suit spaces for tenants like Xerox, Deloitte, Thomson Reuters, and Landmark Group totaling around 2.5 million sq ft.

ET’s email queries to HDFC remained unanswered until the time of going to press. DivyaSree’s Managing Director Bhaskar Raju declined to comment for the story.

Last year, private equity player Kotak Investment Advisors announced a $400 million fund in partnership with DivyaSree Developers to build and acquire commercial office assets across the country.

The developer has developed over 19 million sq ft office spaces since 2005 and has 6 million sq ft offices under construction across Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai. It counts Cisco, Dell, Oracle, Google, Accenture, IBM, Wells Fargo, Cognizant, UBS among its clients.



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Technology firms renews lease for over 3.5 million sq ft office space – ET RealEstate

BENGALURU: Leading global and domestic technology companies have renewed their office leases, providing a much-needed fillip to the battered commercial real estate sector, even as they experiment with the work-from-home model.

Accenture, Oracle, IBM, Tech Mahindra, Tata Consulting Services, Microsoft and Capgemini are among such companies that have renewed their large office lease agreements over the past two months. The lease renewals cover over 3.5 million square feet of office space in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune and Mumbai.

“Based on the leasing momentum, we believe that most corporates continue to be neutral or bullish about the long term. It appears that many corporates may be balancing their space requirements by transacting space to cover their worst-case scenario while retaining the flexibility to add additional space in case of a robust recovery,” said Raja Seetharaman, cofounder at Propstack, a real estate data and analytics company.

Most companies have renewed their leases for nine years, indicating that India still offers compelling reasons such as cost arbitrage and high-quality talent for multinational corporations to set up offices in the country.

“Occupiers are in the process of figuring out their own respective work-from-home strategies for the mid long term. However, that has not stopped many large tenants from going ahead to renew existing leases and commit to new space for consolidation/expansion needs in the major micro-markets across key cities,” said Vinamra Srivastava, CEO, business parks at CapitaLand India, an asset management company.

About 17 million sq. ft. worth of office deals have been concluded in India so far this year and that figure may rise to 20 million sq. ft. by the end of 2020. Experts consider this a good number, although it is lower than the 30-35 million sq. ft. concluded annually.

“Given the current uncertainties, companies do not want to invest in capex. Companies are looking at short-term renewals than medium-term expansion,” said Ramesh Nair, country head of JLL India.

There has been no supply of Grade A office space since March and it will take another six months to get new office space in the top markets. So large companies are keeping the space they already have even as they have work-from-home policies in place.

Since new supply is delayed or postponed due to Covid-19, companies including Google, Accenture, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Standard Chartered Bank and Walmart have concluded large office space transactions across Indian cities.

“We continue to see tremendous resilience in terms of occupier retention and re-leasing across our portfolio. Occupiers are looking at quality spaces with an increased focus on the health and safety of employees, in line with global best practices. Renewals from large occupiers and end-of-tenure releasing have been steady,” said Vikaash Khdloya, deputy CEO of Embassy REIT, which has 26 million sq. ft. of operational office space in the country.

However, given the disruptive impact of Covid-19 on the global and local economy, commercial space deals in India are likely to take a hit this year, after scaling a record of over 45 million sq. ft. last year.



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Microsoft looks to lease 1.2 million sq ft of office space in Bengaluru – ET RealEstate

Tech giant Microsoft is in talks with multiple builders in Bengaluru to lease over 1.2 mn sq ft office space to consolidate its operations in the city, two persons aware of the discussions, said.

Microsoft currently occupies 5,50,000 sq.ft. in Outer Ring Road, the tech hub of Bengaluru.

“In the first phase, the company is looking at 200,000 sq ft for short term requirements and is in talks with multiple builders,” said the two persons in the know of the deal.

Microsoft India has been lapping up office space in the last two years to cater to its growing employee population. The software giant has operations in 11 cities in India and employs about 8000 people across the country.

“The Microsoft office is looking to set up a built-to-suit campus and will eventually bring together all its operations in Bengaluru,” said one of the persons quoted above.

Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment.

Currently, about half of Microsoft’s Indian employees work out of its campus in Hyderabad, the software major’s second biggest after its Redmond headquarters.

In a recent deal, Google occupied 1.4 mn sq ft in Bagmane Rio in Bengaluru, while CommonWealth Bank of America took 2400 seats with WeWork in the city.

Commercial space deals in India were pushed back by three to six months due to travel restrictions globally.

As per industry estimate, net office absorption in Bengaluru dipped 37% in Q1 2020 to 2.7 mn sft

Commercial space deals in India were earlier estimated to remain robust in 2020 after hitting a record of over 60 million sq ft in 2019.



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