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Google pushes return to office to September and will test flexible work week

Google pushes return to office to September and will test flexible work week


CEO Sundar Pichai says a hybrid work model could improve productivity and well-being

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Google has pushed back its return to the office until September, and will experiment with a hybrid model allowing some employees to work from home part of the week, the company said. First reported by The New York Times, Google CEO Sundar Pichai emailed employees Sunday about plans to test a flexible work week once conditions are safe for people to return. Google employees would work three days in the office and the rest of the week at home under the new plan.

Pichai said the company is testing whether such a model would lead to greater productivity and employee well-being. “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 wrote.

According to CNBC, however, Google’s hybrid work model would require employees to live within commuting distance to their offices, and a fully-remote option wasn’t offered. And some employees may not be eligible for a flexible work week, such as those who need access to specialized equipment.

Facebook, Twitter, and Square are among the companies to announce they would permanently extend their current fully-remote work policies.

Google was one of the earliest tech companies to go fully remote as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, telling employees in March to work from home to support social distancing. It previously said it would keep its 200,000 full-time and contract employees working remotely until July 2021, but has now pushed that date back again.