Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced in an email to employees today that, while “we are welcoming back tens of thousands of Googlers on a voluntary basis,” the company will extend its voluntary return to work policy until at least January 10th, 2022. After that date, the current plan is to have countries and locations make mandatory return to work decisions depending on local conditions.
The most recent publicly disclosed plan would have brought Google employees to the workplace at some time in September, but that will not happen. Pichai underlined that whenever its offices intend to have employees in-person, there would be a 30-day notice heads up first.
The letter did not specifically mention the Delta strain, but waves of illness have once again thrown a wrench in the plans of numerous Big Tech companies as they decide when and how to bring employees back in offices. Pichai announced a new hybrid schedule of three in-office days per week in May, but it will be several months before that is in play for many of Google’s employees.