Google headquarters sign outside red brick wall with archways in San Francisco on a sunny day.
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Google tells US employees they will return to workplaces from 4 April

3 Mar 2022

The return to workplaces will see most staff work three days in the office and two days remotely, Google said in a company memo.

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

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

In an internal company memo seen by CNBC, Google 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.”

While Google plans to roll out its hybrid strategy from next month, Casey added that employees who need 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 into the office will be required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, unless they have a special accommodation. The company does not have a vaccine requirement for staff working remotely.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai is a proponent of flexible working and outlined the company’s hybrid strategy last May.

“The future of work is flexibility,” he said at the time, promising staff more choice around when and where they work after the pandemic. The plan included reset days, work-from-anywhere weeks and more.

Pichai revealed the plan when employees were expected to return to offices last year, before the resurge of Covid-19 put a temporary stop to in-person events and offices reopening.

While 4 April is now the return date for staff in the Bay Area and several other US locations, the memo said that other offices in the US and elsewhere will begin to return based on local conditions.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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