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Google office move is far from the end for tech FDI

Company says it is committed to Ireland and it will keep investing

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Picture: Getty

Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Picture: Getty

Getty Images

Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Picture: Getty

Does Google's pull-back from signing a lease on another new office building in Dublin mean it's quietly scaling back its Irish ambitions? Does it reflect a wider tech industry re-evaluation of Irish operations? The answer to both questions is almost certainly no. Here's why.

1. Office space isn't the indicator it was a year ago

Remember the pandemic? The big tech companies have led pledges to allow people to work from home (or "flexibly" in Google's case) for the foreseeable future. That means there isn't the same importance in securing new office space as there seemed to be in 2019. Because of its own growth, Google was desperate to get more office space in Dublin. But that urgency has gone. This is especially so given that the cost of office leases are still close to pre-Covid levels. Why would a forward-looking company sign a 20-year lease at a high price in the middle of a pandemic?