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Google To Reopen US Offices For Employees To ‘Transition To The Hybrid Work Week’

Mark Haranas

Google employees in the Bay Area and other U.S. locations are being asked to return to offices in person for three days per week starting April 4, with more U.S.-based Google offices to follow.

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Google employees are being told they’ll need to return to physical offices in the Bay Area and in several other U.S. locations starting April 4, with expectations to go into the office three days per week.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based search and cloud giant said workers should plan to return to work at physical offices at least three days per week and have two days of remote work, thus ending Google’s voluntary work-from-home period stemming from the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“The advances in prevention and treatment, the steady decline in cases that we continue to see, and the improved safety measures we have implemented across our Bay Area sites now mean we can officially begin the transition to the hybrid work week,” said John Casey, Google’s vice president of global benefits, in an email to employees, first reported by CNBC.

Google did not immediately respond to a CRN request for comment.

[Related: Microsoft Readies Some Office Reopening’s As COVID-19 Surge Ebbs]

Google’s Casey said that other offices in the U.S. and abroad will begin to return to physical workplaces based on local conditions relating to the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic. This month, Google will help employees transition to their new routines with the goal of making a “fully functional” hybrid working environment at the company.

CNBC reported that Google has now dropped its mask mandate and COVID-19 testing mandates for fully vaccinated employees.

Returning Workers Must Be Vaccinated

Google employees who will be entering physical offices in April must either be fully vaccinated or have an approved accommodation.

“We’re continuing to implement our vaccination policy requiring COVID-19 vaccinations or approved accommodations for any individuals accessing our sites because it’s one of the most important ways we can keep our workforce safe and keep our services running,” Google said in a recent statement to The Verge.

However, Google recently said that it is no longer requiring its U.S.-based employees, except for those who are returning to the office, to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, which has killed nearly 1 million Americans over the past two years. “We’re not enforcing vaccination requirements as a condition of employment for U.S. office workers at this time,” said Google.

Google employees who need more time before returning to the office can request a work-from-home extension. In addition, staff who want to work inside the office more than three days per week can do so, while some positions might need to be on-site more than three days due to their roles.

The reopening of Google offices for employees comes just weeks after Microsoft unveiled it will fully reopen offices in Washington state and the San Francisco Bay area on Feb. 28. Other U.S. locations “will follow suit as conditions allow,” according to Microsoft.

Mark Haranas

Mark Haranas is an assistant news editor and longtime journalist now covering cloud, multicloud, software, SaaS and channel partners at CRN. He speaks with world-renown CEOs and IT experts as well as covering breaking news and live events while also managing several CRN reporters. He can be reached at mharanas@thechannelcompany.com.

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