Now even Google wants its staff back to work: employees can return to the office voluntarily this month, and it’s mandatory from September
- Google has announced that some of its US employees will have the option to return to the office this month
- The company said on Wednesday that offices with limited capacity would be reopened
- Tech giants, including Google, were among the first to send workers home when the pandemic started to spread across the US more than a year ago
- Google said it is not mandatory to return to work in April, adding that all employees do not have to return to the office until September
Google has announced that some of its US employees will have the option to return to the office this month.
According to USA Today, the company told staff on Wednesday that offices with limited capacity would be reopened.
“As the situation remains dynamic, we will continue to take a phased and deliberate approach to get more people safely back to the office where possible,” said Google.
Tech giants, including Google, were among the first to send workers home when the pandemic started to spread across the US more than a year ago.
Google said it is not required to return to work in April, adding that all employees do not have to return to the office until September.
Google (file image of the Mountain View office) has announced that some of its US employees will have the option to return to the office this month. The company told staff on Wednesday that offices with limited capacity would be reopened
It is unclear how many employees will be joining Google’s offices.
Last year, both Google and Facebook told employees they should plan to work remotely until 2021. At the time, Amazon and Microsoft said their employees should expect to stay home until at least October 2021.
But as COVID-19 vaccinations are rolled out across the country, tech giants have started announcing plans to get workers back to work.
Microsoft began returning employees to its headquarters in the suburbs of Seattle on March 29.
In a post on Monday on the company’s corporate blog, Executive Vice President Kurt DelBene said Microsoft is monitoring local health data and decided it could bring more employees back to the campus in Redmond, Washington.
DelBene said employees will have a choice of returning to headquarters, continuing to work remotely, or doing a combination of both.
It is unclear how many employees would be allowed into Google’s offices (aerial view of Google’s Mountain View, California office)
More than 50,000 people work on the campus of the company’s corporate headquarters in Redmond, 15 miles east of Seattle.
On Monday, Washington state moved into phase 3 of its COVID-19 reopening plan, meaning all 39 counties of the state will be allowed to ease coronavirus restrictions.
Under phase 3, all indoor spaces – including indoor dining in restaurants, indoor fitness centers and retail stores – can increase capacity from 25 percent to 50 percent.
Larger events such as concerts and graduations will also be in order as up to 400 people will be able to gather for indoor and outdoor activities as long as physical distance and masking are enforced.
Amazon confirmed on Wednesday that the company still plans to return its employees to the office by the fall.
The company had previously specified the return to office date as June 30, but the question remained whether the company would allow some of its 60,000 office workers in the Seattle area to continue working from home part-time.
“Our plan is to return to an office-oriented culture as a starting point,” said Amazon. “We believe it allows us to invent, collaborate and learn in the most effective way.”
Amazon does not require office workers to receive a COVID-19 vaccine before returning, but the company does encourage employees and contractors to get vaccinated as soon as they qualify, Amazon spokesman Jose Negrete said.
According to USA Today, Facebook said it plans to reopen its San Francisco Bay Area offices in May at a capacity of 10 percent.
Facebook, Twitter, and Square had previously said they would allow employees to work from home permanently, leading to the development of remote or hybrid work structures.