Google Is Cutting Back on Some of Its Iconic Perks Amid Cost Cutting Initiatives The company is using data to determine which employee extras are getting the axe.

By Madeline Garfinkle

NurPhoto | Getty Images
Pool table at Google office located in a historical building at the Main Square in Krakow, Poland.

Google has never been shy about its myriad of employee perks — from the simple (free snacks, comfortable meeting rooms) to the somewhat extreme (in-office rock climbing, pool tables). The company's iconic worker benefits have set a standard for what it means to work at a large tech company.

But all of that is about to change. Google CFO Ruth Porat announced last week that the company would begin to scale back on some employee programs to reduce costs, Insider reported.

What's on the chopping block? Fitness classes, shuttle buses, electronic equipment replacements, and more.

In a leaked letter obtained by Insider, Porat wrote that the company has faced similar challenges in 2008 when spending outpaced revenue before outlining what the changes will be to employee perks.

Related: Ex-Google Employee Documents the Day She Was Let Go Amid Mass Layoffs: 'A Really Bad Game of Russian Roulette'

Porat said Google intends to use data to make changes in its cafes and other food facilities to "reduce food waste and be better for the environment," according to the memo.

"For example, where a cafe is seeing a significantly lower volume of use on certain days, we'll close it on those days and put more focus instead on popular options that are close by," the memo says.

A similar restructuring with happen for fitness classes and shuttle schedules. If certain classes or shuttle routes aren't seeing a lot of traffic, those will be cut as well.

The frequency at which electronic devices are replaced will also go under review. For now, Google is pausing any refreshments on laptops, PCs, and monitors, CNBC reported. Employees who are in need of a new laptop (but not in an engineering role) will receive a Chromebook (a laptop made by Google) — marking a shift from the range of offerings the company had before (such as offering MacBooks).

"Because equipment is a significant expense for a company of our size, we'll be able to save meaningfully here," Porat wrote.

Related: Google CEO Responds to Accusations That Company is 'Nickel and Diming' Workers: 'We Shouldn't Always Equate Fun With Money'

Porat concluded the letter by confirming cuts to employee programs have only just begun: Google will continue to use data to identify where spending isn't effective to make any further changes.

You can read the full letter, here.

Madeline Garfinkle

Entrepreneur Staff

News Writer

Madeline Garfinkle is a News Writer at She is a graduate from Syracuse University, and received an MFA from Columbia University. 

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