Google Requires Staff To Return To Office

Google Requires Staff To Return To Office In Select Markets

GLOBAL – Effective 4 April 2022, employees of Google will need to return to their workplace around 3 days per week at some of its offices in the US, the UK, and Asia Pacific, reported Reuters on Thursday evening (3 March, SGT).

In an internal email sent to staff in the San Francisco Bay area, the search giant stated that “advances in prevention and treatment, the steady decline in cases we continue to see and the improved safety measures we have implemented… now mean we can officially begin the transition to the hybrid work week.”

Google joins a list of tech firms and financial institutions that have started mandating a return to office. While a number of major employers have permanently adopted voluntary work-from-home (WFH) policies, other companies like Google thinks that it’s best to encourage in-person interactions among employees.

The search giant expects most staff will be in their workplace around 3 days per week, with some difference by team and role.

However, all workers entering the office needs to be fully inoculated against COVID-19 or have an approved exemption, stated the email written by John Casey, Vice President for global benefits at Google, who added that fully vaccinated employees don’t have to wear masks in the Bay Area offices.

Unvaccinated staff without an exemption will be given an option to seek one or apply to permanently telecommute.

However, the search giant refused to specify the other locations affected by its move, prior to the formal announcements to staff at those office branches. Workers not prepared to return to their office by 4 April can also seek to extend their WFH arrangement, Google noted.

Casey disclosed that since June 2021, Google has approved almost 14,000 staff across the world to transfer to a new location or work fully remote. But around 15 percent of the applications have been rejected.

Furthermore, the search giant has largely restored the office perks it used to offer, like free meals, transportation, and massages. But although business visitors and meetings are allowed, staff are not yet permitted to bring back their families to dine or visit with them.

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