Google plans to open its US offices in a limited capacity in April for employees who want to work in person, the company tells The Verge. The announcement follows Microsoft, Facebook, and Uber’s plans to return to offices in the coming months.
Offices will likely open in April, “based on specific criteria that include increases in vaccine availability and downward trends in COVID-19 cases,” Google says. All employees who prefer to work remotely will also be able to do so until September 2021, which is in line with Google’s previous announcement. Anyone who decides to work in person will be required to follow safety guidelines like wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and passing a health survey, according to an email The New York Times read announcing the plans.
Amazon has also shared an update on when it expects most of its employees to return to working in person. The company never closed its offices, but Amazon says only 10 percent of its corporate employees still head in for work. Given the improved availability of vaccines, Amazon expects “more people will start coming into the office through the summer, with most back in the office by early fall,” it says. The company still views returning “to an office-centric culture as [its] baseline.”
In contrast, when Google extended its remote work plan to September, CEO Sundar Pichai said the company would explore flexible work weeks, where employees would spend three days at the office and the remainder of their time at home.