Back in March, Google requested all its North American employees to work from home for a month. This time frame was then extended multiple times, with the latest date set as being "summer 2021". Google has now once again delayed this plan, this time to September 2021 as per an email by CEO Sundar Pichai.
A report from The New York Times indicates that Sundar Pichai sent out an email to employees last night stating that the company is testing out the concept of a "flexible workweek", in which employees will work at physical Google offices at least three days of the week. These days will be focused on collaborative work. On other days, current work from home practices will be followed. Pichai says that:
We are testing a hypothesis that a flexible work model will lead to greater productivity, collaboration, and well-being. No company at our scale has ever created a fully hybrid work force model — though a few are starting to test it — so it will be interesting to try.
While the email does not specifically mention if employees will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before their return to office, a Google spokesperson said that the company recommends it. Google expects its employees to receive vaccines throughout 2021, but only after other high-risk individuals and communities have received them.
It is also unclear whether the new rules apply to all employees across the globe, but they likely don't. As part of its flexible work plans, Google has designed safer workspaces for collaboration and also allows employees to reserve desks if they need a quiet place. The company has stated that it plans to further improve the hybrid work situation and is also creating in-office presentation booths so employees can record high production quality content and send it to online colleagues and other audiences.
Source: The New York Times