Google will not be requiring its employees to return to offices in the US on January 10 as expected, according to an email sent to employees on Thursday.
According to a media report, the company’s security VP, Chris Rackow, in its email to the full-time employees wrote that it would wait until the new year to assess when the US offices can safely return to a “stable, long-term working environment.”
Rackow in his email said none of the US locations will adopt the hybrid working mandate on January 10 as planned.
The new guidance from the company comes after several delays earlier and as most of the company’s employees were expected to return to physical offices three days a week.
Health officials in the US and around the world say they are concerned about the spread of the new Covid19 variant Omicron, which has some 50 mutations.
Omicron cases have been reported from 24 countries.
The new variant can prove more transmissible than previous strains and evade vaccines’ protection to some degree.
As per the email from Rackow, Google will allow specific locations to decide their timelines for returning their respective local workforces to the office.
Google’s “Local Incident Response Teams” will also help determine each office’s “risk level,” the letter said.
Rackow said while employees will no longer be required to return to their respective offices on January 10, the company still encourages employees to continue coming in “where conditions allow, to reconnect with colleagues in person and start regaining the muscle memory of being in the office more regularly.”
The company will give all full-time employees who need it a 30-day period to transition to the hybrid schedule, the email said.
“We will be re-learning our working rhythms together in 2022, which brings new opportunities and new challenges as we experiment with more flexible ways of working,” Rackow said in the email.