Google has announced it will push back its return to the office to September of next year as the pandemic continues to sweep across the United States.
This is the third time the firm is delaying its return to the office, previously announcing employees could come back in January 2021, then July and now September.
Simultaneously, the company is also proposing new changes to how employees will work in the future, namely the idea of a “flexible workweek”
“We are testing a hypothesis that a flexible work model will lead to greater productivity, collaboration, and well-being,” Sundar Pichai wrote in an email. “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.”
This plan would allow employees to work out of the office three days a week for “collaboration days” and work from home on other days.
While it is uncertain whether the company will require all of its employees to take the coronavirus vaccine, Google spokeswoman Gina Scigliano stated that it is recommending that they do so when it is available in their area.
Google has also said that it will implement new office design as part of its hybrid arrangement in an effort to decrease the risk of COVID-19 transmission. These will include outdoor spaces, desks that can be reserved and more.