Google reportedly re-evaluates January 10th return to office

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Google is reportedly changing its return-to-office plans again, saying that its US employees won’t have to adopt a hybrid work model come January 10th, as was previously planned. According to a report from CNBC, the plan now is to hold off on coming up with new plans until next year, with decisions regarding timelines left up to local offices.

The company has changed its return to work plans several times as the pandemic evolved. In August, when the delta variant was a growing concern, we learned that the company intended to keep in-office work voluntary until at least January 10th, 2022. That plan itself was a change from a previous one that was revealed in December 2020, which would have had employees returning in September.

According to CNBC’s report, Google will give full-time employees a 30-day period to transition from working remotely to working in the office when it does start to bring them back in. It also seems like it’s still going to make changes to its structure — the email seen by CNBC mentioned “experiment[ing] with more flexible ways of working,” which lines up with what we heard in December when Google was looking into testing a hybrid work model that had eligible employees spending some time at home and some time in the office.

Google reportedly has 90 percent of its US offices open for employees to come in on a voluntary basis. CNBC says Google is encouraging employees to come in “to reconnect with colleagues in person and start regaining the muscle memory of being in the office more regularly.” Whether this will continue to be possible remains to be seen and will likely be dictated by the US’s response as more cases of the omicron variant of the coronavirus continue to pop up.

Google didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from The Verge.

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