Google delays mandatory return to office until January 2022

Google is again postponing the return to personal work. CEO Sundar Pichai told employees the company was postponing the mandatory return to office until January 2022. The current voluntary program will last until January 10th. From then on, Google’s offices will decide when (and if) office work becomes mandatory. Staff will be notified 30 days in advance if they need to show up.

The Internet pioneer had previously hoped to introduce a hybrid work week on October 18, in which employees come on three out of five days. That, in turn, was later than the originally planned September return.

The reason for the delay is not surprising. The recovery of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with it the return to the office, was “longer and bumpier than expected”, according to Pichai. In other words, factors like the delta variant of the virus, vaccination rates and different case numbers have clouded the situation – what works well in one country can be dangerous in another.

Not that Google will take risks anyway. The company now requires a full vaccination for every employee who voluntarily or otherwise returns to the office. Google strives to fill its halls with people, but it also doesn’t want security issues or employees shy away. It’s not alone either – other tech companies like Apple have postponed their own return to office plans as the realities of the pandemic clearer.

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