Google tells US employees they will return to workplaces from 4 AprilBlathnaid O’Deaon March 3, 2022 at 10:05 Silicon RepublicSilicon Republic

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Google has told its employees in the Bay Area, San Francisco and other locations in the US that they will have to begin to return to their workplaces from 4 April.

The company said it is implementing a hybrid work model which will see staff physically present in offices at least three days a week. However, workers can choose to come in to the office more than that if they wish. They could also be required to come in more often by their managers due to the nature of their work.

In an internal company memo seen by CNBC, Google’s vice president of global benefits John Casey wrote: “It’s been a long and challenging two years since the vast majority of our people started working from home.”

“But the advances in prevention and treatment, the steady decline in cases that we continue to see, and the improved safety measures we have implemented across our Bay Area sites now mean we can officially begin the transition to the hybrid work week.”

Casey added that employees who needed more time before returning to the office could request an extension. Google will test different models of working over the coming weeks, with the aim of helping staff to fully transition to their new routines. There will be 15-minute virtual drop-in meetings with trained counsellors to help employees with the return.

The memo also said that employees coming in to the office would be required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Those without a vaccination for medical reasons will be required to get tested regularly and wear masks. Google does not have a vaccine requirement for staff working remotely.

The company’s CEO Sundar Pichai is a proponent of flexible working, saying last May that: “The future of work is flexibility.”

He made the comment when employees were expected to return to offices last year before the resurge of Covid-19 put a stop to in-person events and offices reopening. Pichai promised Google staff more flexibility in their working lives after the pandemic.

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