Google puts limits on future of remote work

Apr 6, 2021 | Skills

Google puts limits on future of remote work
Google is changing its work-from-home policy as it looks to get more people back into its US offices.

According to a memo last week, Google employees will begin returning to offices in a “limited” capacity in April.

If after Sept. 1, employees want to work remotely for more than 14 additional days per year, they will need to formally apply.
As millions more Americans get vaccinated by the day, Google is accelerating reopening plans in some parts of the U.S. on a volunteer basis ahead of the Sept. 1 return deadline, according to internal documents viewed by CNBC.

Offices will reopen in a limited capacity in April based on vaccine availability and a downward trend in Covid-19 cases.
“It’s now been a year since many of us have been working from home, and the thought of returning to the office might inspire different emotions,” wrote Fiona Cicconi, Google’s new head of people operations, in a companywide email on Wednesday. Cicconi advised employees to get the Covid-19 vaccine but said it’s not mandatory.

If employees want to work remotely after Sept. 1, for more than 14 additional days per year, they’ll have to formally apply for it, according to a separate note marked “Need to know.” They can apply for up to 12 months in “the most exceptional circumstances.” The company could, however, call employees back to their assigned office at any point, the note said.

Google is preparing for a broad reopening in September, when employees will be expected to show up in person three days a week. The company is taking a different approach from industry peers such as Facebook and Twitter, which vowed to allow most remote work indefinitely.

“It’s now been a year since many of us have been working from home, and the thought of returning to the office might inspire different emotions,” Fiona Cicconi, Google’s head of people operations, wrote in a company email on Wednesday.

Google says more long-term work-from-home arrangements are available. Staff can apply for up to 12 months in “the most exceptional circumstances.

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