Google is postponing reopening its offices till October 18. In a letter to the employees, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that the extension will allow the flexibility to employees who need it as some communities are seeing a surge in Delta variant cases. He said that vaccination rate is very high for the Google community in areas where vaccines are easily available and hence they feel comfortable allowing some employees to return early. “Getting vaccinated is one of the most important ways to keep ourselves and our communities healthy in the months ahead,” said Pichai.
Pichai said that even as they plan to open offices, there are two updates he wanted to share. The first is mandatory vaccination and the other update is the extension of their global voluntary work-from-home policy.
Speaking on the first, Pichai said that anyone who is coming to work from their campuses must be vaccinated. “We’re rolling this policy out in the US in the coming weeks and will expand to other regions in the coming months. The implementation will vary according to local conditions and regulations, and will not apply until vaccines are widely available in your area,” he said. Pichai added that there will also be exception clauses for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or other protected reasons.
The Google CEO said that they are extending their global voluntary work from policy through October 18. “We recognise that many Googlers are seeing spikes in their communities caused by the Delta variant and are concerned about returning to the office. This extension will allow us time to ramp back into work while providing flexibility for those who need it. We’ll continue watching the data carefully and let you know at least 30 days in advance before transitioning into our full return to office plans,” he said in the letter.
In his letter Pichai said that for employees with “special circumstances”, Google will share its expanded temporary work options that will allow them to work from home through the end of 2021. Google will also extend the Expanded Carer’s Leave for parents and caregivers through the end of the year.
“I hope these steps will give everyone greater peace of mind as offices reopen. Seeing Googlers together in the offices these past few weeks filled me with optimism, and I’m looking forward to brighter days ahead,” said Pichai.