Tale of the tape: Google dispenses with office supplies

Time to add another workplace acronym to your glossary: BYOS — Bring Your Own Stapler.

Time to add another workplace acronym to your glossary: BYOS — Bring Your Own Stapler.

throwing away a stapler

Cost-cutting efforts are continuing at Alphabet after Google’s parent company eliminated 12k jobs in January, and per CNBC, austerity measures include saving on staplers and tape dispensers.

Internal memos warn basic supplies will no longer be provided at print stations, with San Francisco employees directed to borrow them from the receptionist desk as needed.

Saving on office supplies is a familiar tune in budget-conscious offices worldwide. So if this weren’t Google, it wouldn’t feel surprising…

… but it is Google.

They have long been a standard bearer for benefits and office perks. (Though, in fairness to Alphabet, operating efficiently with ~175k employees is a tall task.)

Other ongoing efforts to rein in costs:

  • Pausing laptop refreshes — MacBooks will be harder to come by; non-engineers will default to Chromebooks.
  • Food, fitness, massage, and transportation programs are all being reevaluated. Cafe consolidation is expected; the company already let 20+ massage therapists go earlier this year.

Prompting internal outcry, Google also did not pay out remaining time for employees laid off while on maternity and medical leave.

Perks and raises were already in trouble

Employees at one of the world’s most valuable companies struggling to find staplers is… well, it’s sobering.

A recent executive survey shows 47% of companies are planning to trim benefits this year, per Fortune. Commuter benefits and adoption and fertility assistance are common targets.

  • Even cash-rich Apple has curtailed travel spending, cut bonuses, and stopped backfilling positions.

But if we’re looking for a positive here, at least this viral PSA about tape dispensers can claim another moment in the sun?

Topics: Google

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