Google office building in Mountain View, California on a sunny day.
Google in Mountain View, California. Image: © bennymarty/

Google extends remote working plans to September 2021

14 Dec 2020

According to The New York Times, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told staff they can expect a more flexible work week once they return to the office.

As the Covid-19 pandemic pressed on throughout 2020, many companies rolled out strategies to keep staff working from home until next year. Google announced over the summer that it was extending its remote working policy until least July 2021, however the company has now reportedly pushed its return to offices back until September.

According to The New York Times, Google CEO Sundar Pichai issued a company-wide email on the topic last night (13 December).

In it, he said that leadership was also planning to test out a “flexible work week”, which would require staff to work in the office for three days a week – what Pichai called “collaboration days” – and from home on the others.

“We are testing a hypothesis that a flexible work model will lead to greater productivity, collaboration and wellbeing,” Pichai wrote. “No company at our scale has ever created a fully hybrid workforce model – though a few are starting to test it – so it will be interesting to try.”

While many businesses have extended remote working policies this year, companies such as Siemens, Indeed and Fujitsu have been rolling out more permanent hybrid working plans.

Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings, on the other hand, has said that he doesn’t “see any positives” of working from home. He told the Wall Street Journal in September that he hopes to bring all staff back into the workplace as early as “six months after a vaccine”.

Pichai didn’t outline any requirements around getting vaccinated before returning to work in his email, according The New York Times. However, Google’s director of corporate communications, Gina Scigliano, explained that the company has recommended employees get the vaccine once their healthcare provider or their local public health authority has told them it’s available.

The report also said that Google hopes to make Covid-19 vaccines available to staff in mid-to-late 2021.

Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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