Google has pushed back on plans for a full return to the workplace and extended its voluntary return-to-office policy through to January next year, amid concerns over rising Covid cases in some locations around the world.
“Beyond January 10, we will enable countries and locations to make determinations on when to end voluntary work-from-home based on local conditions,” CEO Sundar Pichai said in a message to employees.
It’s the third time the Alphabet-owned tech giant has delayed its return to the office over lingering Covid worries in some of its locations around the world, following advice from local health experts.
Come January 10, Google’s different locations will have the power to decide when to end the voluntary work from home period in that area after a notice of at least 30 days, Pichai said in the message.
“The road ahead may be a little longer and bumpier than we hoped, yet I remain optimistic that we will get through it together,” Pichai added.
After being one of the first global companies to ask employees to work from home when Covid hit, Google first delayed the return to the office last December to September.
Then in July, the company delayed the return for a second time to October 18th and announced a mandatory vaccination policy for workers returning.
Google follows other large companies that have pushed back their office return plans until next year amid Covid concerns in the past few weeks, including Amazon and Lyft.