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COVID: Google Pushes Return To Office Into January 2022

MOUNTAIN VIEW (CBS SF) – Google has again postponed plans to return to the office, saying most workers would not need to return until early 2022, nearly two years after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an email to employees on Tuesday, CEO Sundar Pichai announced the return date has been pushed to January 10. After that date, the company headquartered in Mountain View said it would enable locations to end voluntary work-from-home policies "based on local conditions," which Pichai admitted "vary greatly across our offices."

The change comes just one month after the Internet giant moved the return to office date to October amid concerns about the Delta variant.  Previously, the company had sought to begin a hybrid schedule for much of its workforce by September, where 60% of employees would be at the office three days a week.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has been a humbling challenge for all of us and I continue to be impressed by the way our teams are navigating through it," Pichai said.

Pichai said workers would receive 30 days advance notice before they are expected to return to the office.

Some of Google's 130,000 employees have returned to the office in-person. Last month, the company enacted a vaccination requirement for employees who are returning.

"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 said.

Google joins other Bay Area companies that have pushed back their return dates into next year, including Facebook, Lyft and Doordash.

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