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Google mandates workers back to Silicon Valley, other offices from April 4 -Breaking


© Reuters. Google LLC’s logo can be seen at its Manhattan office, New York City. New York, U.S.A. November 17, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Paresh David

OAKLAND, Calif. (Reuters) – Alphabet (NASDAQ) Inc.’s Google, starting April 4, will have employees returning to work approximately three days a weeks in its U.S.-, U.K.- and Asia Pacific offices. This move is its first step towards ending policies that allow remote work due to COVID-19 concerns.

Reuters obtained an internal email Wednesday that stated to employees in San Francisco Bay Area, “advances and treatment”, the continuing decline in patients and safety measures implemented and the improvement in preventive and treatment methods we now have, and we are officially able to transition to hybrid work weeks.”

Google is joining a growing number of tech and finance firms that require employees to return to work. Google joins a wave of technology and finance companies that have made it a permanent policy to allow employees to work from home. However, some large employers are still openly accepting this option. Others like Google believe it’s better for colleagues to interact in person.

Google projects that the majority of employees will work at their office three days per week. However, this may vary by role or team.

John Casey from Google, the vice president for global benefits, has sent an email stating that everyone must be completely vaccinated to prevent COVID-19. Workers who are not vaccinated will have the option of applying for an exemption or permanent remote employment.

Casey explained that workers who have been fully vaccinated will no longer need to use masks at Bay Area workplaces.

Google did not specify which other areas would return to normal after April 4. Workers at these sites will be informed of the details.

Google also stated that remote workers who cannot return to work on April 4, can request a extension.

Casey stated that Google has granted nearly 14,000 global employees permission to move to another location or be completely remote since June 2013. Casey said about 15% of applicants were rejected.

Google has largely restored many office benefits such as meals free of charge, massages, and transportation. However, while meetings and business visits are permissible, employees cannot bring home their children or families to eat or visit them.

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