Tells Staff to continue Working from Home until January

2021-09-15 by Jim Crickell

Google’s sizable workforce has been working from home for more than a year now. The search giant told its employees to work from home when the pandemic hit. Now, nearly two years since it first told workers to begin working from home, Google has pushed back office resumption for its staff by three months, to January.

Its employees were supposed to return to the office but that plan has been scrapped for the coming months partly because of the contagious delta strain of the coronavirus that’s been spreading across the US recently.  Due to this new strain, there has been a significant spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the US. Hospitalization has also increased dramatically, causing the return to office plans of several organizations to be scrapped.

The CEO of Alphabet, the parent organization of Google, told workers about the shift back of office resumption in an email. Though the search giant is hoping normalcy will be restored by Jan. 10, there is no assurance that will be the case. CEO Sundar Pichai told workers that after Jan. 10, a decision will be made regarding whether it is safe for workers to return to work at offices across the world.

The situation of the pandemic in each country and location will determine whether Google’s workers will return to work or not. Workers will reportedly get a 30-day advance notice if they have to return to the office.

Google isn’t the only company to postpone office resumption dates for workers. Facebook, Amazon, Lyft, and Apple have all made similar decisions lately. Google’s recent announcement is only a continuation of the trend caused by fears related to the new Covid-19 strain. Google had initially slated office returns for employees to September. That didn’t happen and the date was shifted to October.

Google also announced that vaccination against Covid-19 will be required for employees that returned to the office. At this point, Google’s workers have been working away from the office for a long time, and this has forced the company to re-evaluate the prospects of remote work and how its workforce will be shaped up in the coming years.

Google’s vision for its workforce is one in which they contribute through a hybrid model in which 60% of employees go back to the offices. The company also allowed 85% of workers who requested to work from home to do so. Google’s workforce is 130,000 strong, with workers spread across different locations in the world.

Large technology corporations like Google are not in a rush to bring their workers back to their offices in light of rising covid infections and hospitalization. Similar to Google, Amazon and Facebook announced recently to their employees that they should keep working from home until January. Lyft is being even more cautious as it told workers to hold on till Feb 2, 2022. Google’s stance on remote work has been altered quite a bit recently, since  it first made it compulsory for workers.