Google faces laptop shortages during remote working surge

Supplier delays are also said to be affecting recruitment and contractor work

Google is struggling to provide laptops and other essential equipment for its remote workers and new employees, according to an internal document.

A memo from leadership at the tech giant informed employees that hardware such as laptops and phones were in "limited supply", according to CNBC. The company has also cancelled all laptop upgrades, even those it had begun to process.

The memo comes just days after Google, along with Facebook, announced that its workforce could continue working remotely thought the rest of the year. The firm said it will open its physical offices in July, as lockdown measures begin to lift, but it would continue to urge people to work remotely if they can do so.

Sourcing equipment for people to do that, however, has been problematic due to one of its suppliers experiencing "manufacturing shortages".

"Remote onboarding is not a scalable process and essential equipment is not readily available in many locations," the document read, seen by CNBC. "We're doing our best to get as many laptops as we can, but it's not currently possible to equip everyone with a laptop. This is due to our major suppliers experiencing manufacturing shortages."

A spokesperson for the company told CNBC that the lack of equipment had affected recruitment and forced Google to "slow the pace of hiring and investment". As such, the company has revised down its new employee target for 2020.

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The equipment shortage has been even worse for temporary employees and contractors, who make up roughly half of Google's workforce. According to the documents, the company has prioritised requests from current employees and "Nooglers" – new full time hires, although a Google spokesperson has suggested that this information is now out of date, but failed to elaborate further.

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