Google announced to its staff on Sunday, Dec 13 via email, that it was testing the idea of a “flexible work week.” As explained in The New York Times, Google has pushed back plans to return to work. September 2021 is now the goal of returning to the office.
As the pandemic rages on and vaccines now begin shipping, this is a great idea by Google. Google will also introduce changes that may affect how its and other tech companies’ employees will work. In addition to delaying a return to the office, Google has a solid plan for a flexible work week. Google’s email states that employees will work three days a week in the office. These “collaboration days” will be worked in the office while the rest of the week will be worked from home.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai in the email said, “we are testing a hypothesis that a flexible work model will lead to greater productivity, collaboration, and well-being.” No company of Google’s size and scale has ever created a fully hybrid workforce model, according to Mr. Pichai.
As the coronavirus rages on, many are looking to get vaccinated as soon as possible. The email does not mention if Google employees must be vaccinated before returning to the office. But Google does recommend employees get vaccinated. In addition, Google is also looking for opportunities to provide vaccines to their employees.
Google’s plan for a flexible work week
As Google hammers out specifics for a flexible work week, when it will roll out is still in the air. The coronavirus is in different states of severity in different countries. Due to this, the new work schedules may not apply to all Google employees. Employees who spend lots of time with customers, or work in data centers and labs are those who will not be affected.
Google was one of the first companies to have employees work remotely. Their schedule to return to work was originally set for July, and now it is September. In addition to its flexible work schedules, Google plans to create new office designs for areas at lower risk of the coronavirus.
These offices will offer employees options. For example, employees can book collaboration places for up to a dozen people. Another example Google mentioned would be if employees need to secure outdoor space for large gatherings. This will be perfect when it comes to adhering to social gathering guidelines.
As Google implements its new office design and work schedules, other technology companies will be paying attention. If Google can implement this plan with little impact, it could affect how all companies return to work.