Google is preparing to bring workers back into the office.
The technology giant revealed that it will relax certain Covid restrictions around vaccinations, testing, physical distancing, and masks.
Notably, Google spokesperson Lora Lee Erickson stated that the company will be reversing its vaccination requirement policy for workers in the US, but did not offer further clarification. Initially, Google stated that employees who refused to be vaccinated could face termination.
David Radcliffe, Real Estate and Workplace Services Vice President at Google, sent an email to employees in the San Francisco Bay Area announcing that certain in-office perks, like massages and fitness centers, will be returning.
Radcliffe added that Bay Area employees will no longer be subject to routine testing, while physical distancing and mask wearing would no longer be required for those who are vaccinated. However, unvaccinated employees who are approved to come back into the office will need to continue following these safety protocols.
Google has taken a hybrid approach with its post-pandemic workplace policies, allowing employees to come into the office at least three days each week, while some workers can continue working remotely full time.
The tech industry has been plagued with office return delays since the onset of the pandemic nearly two years ago. What was believed to be a temporary shift to working from home completely altered the way employees view the workplace, leading many of these organizations to uproot their workplace arrangements.
“We’re at the beginning of a journey, so the office experience will feel pretty similar to what it was like pre-Covid,” said Radcliffe. “We’re designing and piloting options to support new ways of working together and we’ll gather insights, data and feedback to help us learn as we go.”