Google plans return to office from September

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Google has announced it is aiming to get more employees back to its offices from September.

The online giant has stated that employees wanting to work from home for more than 14 days a year will need permission from the autumn.

Employees will voluntarily be able to return to offices from next month as current work-from-home arrangements will continue until 1 September, although this is subject to Covid-19 infection rates and progress in vaccinations.

Fiona Cicconi, Google’s head of people operations, wrote in a company email on Wednesday: “It’s now been a year since many of us have been working from home, and the thought of returning to the office might inspire different emotions.”

From 1 September, Google employees will be expected to be in the office for at least three days a week.

The measures will apply to the company’s US offices but similar plans are likely to be in gestation for its bases elsewhere in the world, including London.

The company has advised workers to ensure they get vaccinated against Covid-19 as soon as they can, but is not making this mandatory for returning to the workplace.

It has said that staff can apply to work at home for up to 12 months in “the most exceptional circumstances”.

Meanwhile, Twitter has said it will allow most of its employees to work from home permanently.

A number of big companies have plan to test so-called hybrid work arrangements, where employees split their time between home and office.

On the subject of hybrid working, vice president of Facebook’s global business group Carolyn Everson told a panel hosted by Bloomberg: “None of us have this all figured out. We are making this up on the fly. The reality is we are all trying to figure it out together.”

From May, Facebook will start to reopen its Silicon Valley offices, after more than a year of working from home during the global pandemic but its largest offices won’t reach 50% capacity until early September, it said.

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