Google is rethinking its return-to-office plans, stating that its US employees will not be required to adopt a hybrid work model on January 10th, as previously stated. According to a Google jobs spokesperson, the company’s current plan is to delay releasing new plans until next year, with decisions on timelines still being left up to local offices.
As the pandemic progressed, the company’s return-to-work plans changed several times. We learned in August, when the delta variant was causing concern, that the company planned to keep in-office work voluntary until at least January 10th, 2022. That plan was a departure from a previous one announced in December 2020, which called for employees to return in September.
According to an email obtained by CNBC jobs from Google VP Chris Rackow, the company reiterated an August promise that full-time employees will be given a 30-day transition period from working remotely to working in the office when the company begins to bring them back in. Google says it will stick with the hybrid workweek model outlined by CEO Sundar Pichai in May, in which “most Googlers” will work three days in the office and two days remote jobs.
The spokesperson also told The Verge that the company has opened 90 percent of its US offices open for employees to come in on a voluntary basis. CNBC says Google is encouraging employees to come in “to reconnect with colleagues in person and start regaining the muscle memory of being in the office more regularly.” Whether this will continue to be possible remains to be seen and will likely be dictated by the US’s response as more cases of the omicron variant of the coronavirus continue to pop up.
Source: The Verge