Google delays return to office and eyes 'flexible work week'

Daniel Fowler
January 28, 2021

"We are testing a hypothesis that a flexible work model will lead to greater productivity, collaboration, and well-being", Sundar Pichai wrote in an email. The company has also twice before delayed when it wants workers to return to offices. As explained in The New York Times, Google has pushed back plans to return to work. Google will also introduce changes that may affect how its and other tech companies' employees will work.

Google in July said it would allow employees to work from home until June 2021, after earlier saying they could work remotely till the end of this year. These "collaboration days" will be worked in the office while the rest of the week will be worked from home.

"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", Pichai said, according to the Times. But Google does recommend employees get vaccinated.

Google also said it planned to keep developing new ways to help employees bridge the gap between the experience of working at the office and working from home, especially for employees who may not live in places well suited for remote work. Due to this, the new work schedules may not apply to all Google employees.

When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, Google was one of the world's first companies that made a decision to send its employees to work from home. Employees who spend lots of time with customers, or work in data centers and labs are those who will not be affected.

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The report also said that Google hopes to make Covid-19 vaccines available to staff in mid-to-late 2021.

Flexible office design: In offices that have reached levels 2, 3 and 4 on the risk assessment curves, you'll see new options, such as bookable collaboration spaces for up to a dozen people and outdoor spaces for large team gatherings.

Along with flexible workweek the company has yet another unique plan in mind.

Microsoft is among the big U.S. tech companies testing out a hybrid work model.

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