Google Mandates Vaccines for Workers and Delays Return to Office
Google said on Wednesday it would require employees returning to company offices to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. He also said he would push his official return to office date back to mid-October from September, joining a host of other companies whose plans have been scrambled in recent days by the spread of the highly Delta variant. contagious.
Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, was due to announce the news Wednesday morning in a note to employees, which was reviewed by the New York Times.
“Getting vaccinated is one of the most important ways to keep ourselves and our communities healthy in the months to come,” Pichai wrote. He added that the vaccination mandate would apply to US offices “in the coming weeks” and other regions “in the months to come”.
Google has more than 144,000 employees worldwide. A Google spokeswoman said the company had no current vaccination rates to share, although Mr Pichai wrote that it was “encouraging to see very high vaccination rates” among employees in the places where vaccines were widely available.
Mr Pichai also said in the note that Google’s voluntary work-from-home policy was extended until October 18. Previously, employees had planned to return in September, although no specific date has been set.
“We recognize that many Googlers are seeing spikes in their communities caused by the Delta variant and are concerned about returning to the office,” Pichai wrote. “This extension will give us time to get back to work while providing flexibility to those who need it. “
The move follows a similar announcement from Apple, which said last week it would push back the date when employees should return to its offices from October to September.
Some Google employees have returned to work in the office on a voluntary basis. In California, as the Delta variant of the coronavirus has risen, workers have resumed donning masks at Google offices.
Silicon Valley tech companies like Google led the push towards remote working at the start of the pandemic, but Google hasn’t moved away from office work entirely, and it has said it expects it to be. that most employees eventually return to work in person at least three days a week.
The company said in March it would spend $ 1 billion on developments in California this year, including two office complexes in Mountain View. It is also building 7.3 million square feet of office space in San Jose.
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