Google rejigs remote working as it reopens offices

Google is changing its work-from-home policy as it looks to get more people back into its US offices.

The tech firm will only allow employees to work from home for more than 14 days a year if they apply for it.

Google will continue its current work-from-home arrangements until 1 September but will allow people to return voluntarily from next month.

The tech giant was one of the first companies to offer to work 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.

Google is currently preparing for a broad reopening in September when employees will be expected to be in the office for at least three days a week.

Until then, the initial return period will be voluntary as offices slowly reopen with limited capacity, based on vaccine availability and a downward trend in Covid-19 cases.

When staff is required to officially return to Google’s offices in September, they “won’t look exactly the way you remember them” but “will include meals, snacks, and amenities where possible,” Ms. Cicconi said.

“We will even be welcoming our Googlers back,” she added, referring to Google’s bring-your-dog-to-work group. There is now a dog park at its Mountain View campus called The Googleplex. The company is advising workers to get vaccinated against Covid-19 but is not making it mandatory for returning to the workplace.


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