Facepalm! Google's super high-tech new office building has terrible Wi-Fi

Have you ever had to work in an office with spotty Wi-Fi? It does happen, but one wouldn't expect to find such a thing within the walls of tech behemoth Google. According to a new report, the awful Wi-Fi is something that the company's AI designers at its new San Francisco office have been dealing with for months.

The Bay View campus in Mountain View has been promoted by Google as featuring the latest in cutting-edge tech and design, boasting "an environment where everyone has the tools they need to be successful," writes Reuters. But it appears those tools don't include good Wi-Fi.

A cool roof, but at the cost of reliable Wi-Fi

According to six people familiar with the matter, employees have had to plug their laptops into ethernet cables at their desks, or use their phones as Wi-Fi hotspots. Some were even told by managers to go and work from an attached café or take a walk outside to try to find better connectivity. Google has also tried issuing some staff new laptops with more powerful Wi-Fi chips.

The Bay View campus is the first to be entirely designed and built by Google. The company is using it to house some of those working on its highest-priority AI projects. One AI engineer assigned to the building complained that the unreliable Wi-Fi didn't help Google's push to get its workers back in the office for three days per week.

"You'd think the world's leading internet company would have worked this out," he said.

Google has confirmed there have been Wi-Fi "connectivity issues" in Bay View, and several improvements have been made to address the issue. The company hopes to have a fix in the coming weeks.

Although Google has not publicly said what is causing the Wi-Fi problems, workers claim it is due to the 600,000-square-foot building's unique, wave-style rooftop covered with "dragonscale solar skin" interfering with the Wi-Fi signal.

In June last year, Google started clamping down on those failing to adhere to its RTO mandate. It started tracking hybrid employees' office badges to ensure workers are coming in on the days they're supposed to. Office attendance records are recorded for performance reviews, and those workers who are consistently absent from the office are sent reminders. There was also an internal memo stating that those working remotely full-time near a Google office should "consider" switching to hybrid.

Bay View has a slew of amenities, including two kitchens that serve seven cafes, toxin-free materials, and more, all designed to make the transition from full-time remote work to office work less painful for employees, but it seems reliable Wi-Fi was something Google overlooked.