Google pushes start button for reopening offices
Google has said staff can start returning to its US offices over the next month, as its prepares for post-pandemic life.
The company said the initial return period will be voluntary as offices slowly reopen with limited capacity.
Google has an official 1 September deadline for staff to return to offices.
The tech giant was one of the first companies to offer working from home when the pandemic struck last year.
“It’s now been a year since many of us have been working from home, and the thought of returning to the office might inspire different emotions,” Fiona Cicconi, Google’s head of people operations, wrote in a company email on Wednesday.
When staff are required to return to Google’s offices in September, its offices “won’t look exactly the way you remember them” but “will include meals, snacks and amenities where possible,” she added.
“We will even be welcoming our Dooglers back,” Ms Cicconi said, referring to Google’s bring-your-dog-to-work group. There is now a dog park at its Mountain View campus called The Doogleplex.
The company is advising workers to get vaccinated against Covid-19, but is not making it mandatory for returning to the workplace.
Google is taking a different approach from its tech rivals who have said most staff can continue remote work indefinitely. Twitter has said it will allow most employees to work from home permanently.
A number of big companies have said they will test so-called hybrid work arrangements, where employees split their time between home and office.
“None of us have this all figured out,” said Carolyn Everson, vice president of Facebook’s global business group when talking about current work-from-home arrangements.
“We are making this up on the fly. The reality is we are all trying to figure it out together,” the senior executive told a panel hosted by Bloomberg.
Facebook will start to reopen its Silicon Valley offices at the beginning in May, after more than a year of working from home during the global pandemic.
Its largest offices won’t reach 50% capacity until early September, it said.