Absurdly Driven usually looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

Once, you dreamed of working at Google.

Just thinking of all that free food, free cooking classes, free onsite gyms and even massage therapists made the idea of work so deeply palatable.

Never mind the highly thoughtful decompression capsules.

I wonder, though, whether the Coronavirus crisis is tempering Google's paternalistic tendencies.

Last week, the company was forced to rein in some of its employees' habits. Specifically, the habits of employees working from home.

As CNBC reported, Google told employees they can't expense the food they're eating while at home. Not even if it's less nutritious than the gourmet fare they used to get at work.

It seems that Googlies can't expense fitness costs or additional furniture for their home offices either. Even if they actually have the budget for such things.

It's an interesting conundrum deciding what companies should do with budgets that now can't be used for their original intention.

Events budgets, for example. Or teambuilding budgets. 

Should employees be allowed to use their discretion over such monies? Or, in Google's case, might an advertising downturn effect a reining-in of the good life?

It seems, though, that some Google employees are unhappy at this sudden step.

Some Google employees, now working from home, have already publicly complained that the situation is cramping their working style. One even lamented the lack of a coffee machine at home.

He wasn't happy about having to wash his own dishes, either. (I am serious.)

It could be, then, that the era of excessive office comforts -- renowned in the tech world -- may be replaced by a slightly more, well, realism.

After all, office life as they knew it will be gone. There will be far more (technological) controls on social distancing, contact tracing and even temperature measuring.

The sense of freedom will be replaced by a sense of trepidation and even foreboding.

Business leaders should already be preparing for the introduction of new systems to make workplaces safe -- or at least as safe as they can be.

They should also be preparing for the psychological effects of these new controls. 

Your employees won't return to the office in an uncontrolled good humor. Instead, they'll know that uncertainty is likely to last not for weeks, but for months and even years.

Perhaps dousing some of employees' free-flowing benefits is an intelligent way to prepare them for the new office world.

These thoughts were punctuated by Google on Friday. It declared that most of its employees would be working from home until next year.

The fun may be gone for a while.

And that may be a very good way for Google to show that it's taking its work -- and the social consequences of that work -- a little more seriously.