Google has asked its employees to return to the office at least three days a week in some of its sites around the world.
Google considers this as its first step to end policies that allowed remote work because of COVID-19 concerns.
On Wednesday, March 2, Google told its employees in the San Francisco Bay Area: “Advances in prevention and treatment, the steady decline in cases we continue to see and the improved safety measures we have implemented … now mean we can officially begin the transition to the hybrid work week.”
Google joins other technology and finance firms who are keen on their employees returning to work from the office.
While some big employers have incorporated voluntary work-from-home policies permanently, others comprising Google are betting that it is best to push in-person interactions among colleagues.
John Casey, Google’s vice president of global benefits, said in an email: “Everyone coming to the office must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have an approved exemption.
“Unvaccinated workers without an exemption will be given an option to seek one or apply for permanent remote work.”
He added. “Fully vaccinated workers will not have to wear masks in Bay Area offices”,
Google said: “Employees who are not prepared to return April 4 also can seek a remote-work extension”.
Casey continued: “Since last June, Google has approved nearly 14,000 employees globally to transfer to a new location or go fully remote. About 15 percent of applications have been denied.”
Google has brought back facilities for employees like free meals, massages, and transit. Employees cannot have their families or children visit or dine with them, but business visitors and meetings are allowed.