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Google to invest over $7 billion in new offices and data centers

The tech giant says the investments will create over 10,000 jobs across 19 states.

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Google plans to spend billions on real estate this year.
Richard Nieva/CNET

Google on Thursday said it plans to invest over $7 billion in new offices and data centers this year, as it looks to business operations post-pandemic. The projects will span 19 states and will create at least 10,000 jobs, the company said.

The tech giant's decision to double down on real estate comes as companies are reevaluating how they'll conduct business in the future, after people around the world worked from home for more than a year to curb the spread of the as the coronavirus spread

In December, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company was considering a hybrid work model, in which people work in the office for at least three days, while working the other days remotely. But he said the new plan may not be available to all workers, like engineers who spend lots of time in data centers. 

"Coming together in person to collaborate and build community is core to Google's culture, and it will be an important part of our future," Pichai said in a blog post Thursday. "So we continue to make significant investments in our offices around the country."

Part of the $7 billion investment includes $1 billion toward offices in Google's home state of California. Google will also grow its offices in Atlanta, Washington DC, Chicago and New York, Pichai said.

The investment in data centers comes as Google focuses heavily on the expansion of its cloud business, which allows other companies and organizations to rent server space from Google. Last month, Google began disclosing new financial details about its cloud division, as it aims to broaden its business beyond its massive search and advertising operation. Revenue rose to $3.83 billion last quarter, from $2.61 billion a year earlier. 

Google's plan to grow its physical offices may not be surprising for a company that has helped define the culture of Silicon Valley campuses over the last two decades. The tech giant pioneered several lavish perks for employees that have become the norm in the tech industry, including free food and gym service on campus. 

Other tech companies have also started to rethink what work at the office could look like after the pandemic. Last May, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the social networking giant will allow some employees to work from home permanently. He said about half of Facebook's workforce could work remotely over the next five to 10 years. Twitter made a similar announcement, and CEO Jack Dorsey also extended the policy to his other company, mobile payments firm Square.

See also: Google reverse image search for your phone or browser: How to do it and why