Many Google employees are expected back in the office on April 4, according to new reports.
“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,” read an internal email sent to employees (as reported by Reuters). Most Google employees will come into the office three days per week.
Over the past nine months, Google has approved some 14,000 employees to either move to a new location or work remotely full-time, Reuters added. Around 15 percent of requests for either a transfer for full-time remote work have been denied.
Google has been planning its new, hybridized environment for quite some time. “Taken together these changes will result in a workforce where around 60 percent of Googlers are coming together in the office a few days a week, another 20 percent are working in new office locations, and 20 percent are working from home,” Google/Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in an email posted to Google’s corporate blog in mid-2021, when the hybrid policies were first announced. In addition, employees will have the option to “work from a location other than their main office for up to 4 weeks per year (with manager approval).”
In late February, a Google spokesperson confirmed to CNBC that the search-engine giant would no longer require vaccinations as a condition of employment. At the same time, Google announced it would unlock its in-office amenities, many of which had remained closed during the pandemic to limit close contact; that was a sure sign that a larger reopening was imminent.
“We’re at the beginning of a journey, so the office experience will feel pretty similar to what it was like pre-Covid,” Google Real Estate and Workplace Services VP David Radcliffe told CNBC. “We’re designing and piloting options to support new ways of working together and we’ll gather insights, data and feedback to help us learn as we go.”