September 1, 2021

Google delays return to office until January amid Delta-variant surge

By ellen

NEW YORK (NYTIMES) – Google is pushing back its return-to-office date by three months, to Jan 10, in a decision that reflects the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus.

Mr Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, informed employees of the plans in an e-mail on Tuesday (Aug 31). He said that after Jan 10, offices in different countries and locations will determine when to return based on local conditions and that employees will get 30 days’ advance notice.

Like other companies, Google has repeatedly postponed the date when it expects employees to return to work at its offices. In July, Google pushed back its return date to October from this month, and announced that it would require employees who returned to the company’s offices to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

If Google employees return to the office in January, it will be nearly two years since the company asked its staff to work from home in the early days of the pandemic. The extended period of working from home has forced the company to rethink the future of its workplace and what is the best way to balance remote work with in-person collaboration.