In view of the growing threat around the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, many major international conglomerates and organisations are rethinking their plans to reopen their workspaces. Google is one of the first amongst the major tech companies to announce a delay in its plans to end work from home.
In an internal e-mail sent to its employees, Google has revealed that it will not require them to return to offices in the US on January 10, as was earlier planned. In the mail, Chris Rackow, VP-Security, Google, reveals the Company’s intention to wait until Jan 1, 2022, to assess the situation and then decide when offices in the US are safe for return to a stable, long-term working environment.
The mail goes on to mention that the Company will allow specific locations to decide their own timelines for ‘return to office’ for their respective local workforces. Google’s ‘Local Incident Response Teams’ will assess the safety risks involved in reopening office spaces in respective locations that they may be deputed in.
Although the Company will not be mandating return to office as planned, it continues to encourage employees to report to offices where conditions allow them to do so. The Company has said that it will facilitate transition into hybrid for its employees by providing a 30-day notice period before full translation into a hybrid workspace.
While Rackow’s e-mail doesn’t mention the latest Covid variant, Google has reportedly informed its employees in Europe, the Middle East and Africa that the Company is planning to postpone the return-to-office for the time being due to the threat of the new variant.