9to5Google is reporting that it seems likely US-based Google employees will begin returning to working in the office in April. For the safety of its workers, Google let its staff work from home during the pandemic this past year. Serving as an added measure of safety. As vaccines continue rolling out in the US Google is looking to begin returning to in-person work.
Axios originally reported that an internal email from Google SVP Fionna Cicconi saying that Google is monitoring the safety of its workers. The current situation is unstable according to the email. Google is focusing on avoiding another COVID-19 wave according to the email.
The company is seeing “hopeful improvements” in parts of the United States though. As a result, Cicconi says Google is likely to begin allowing Googlers in the US to choose where they work. Beginning in April Googlers may have the choice of working remotely or in the office.
In the United States, the situation is also mixed and we must continue to stay vigilant to prevent a new wave of the virus. We are also seeing some hopeful improvements in parts of the country. I’m happy to say that over the next month, it is likely we’ll begin to welcome Googlers back to some of our US offices on a voluntary basis.
— Fionna Cicconi, via Axios
Currently, though, the return to the office in person seems to be in a limited capacity. Google will not be participating in-person at the upcoming Mobile World Congress. Despite Mobile World Congress being put off until June, Google has made the decision to avoid the event.
The exact way in-office work will affect in-person events Google would normally host is still unknown. Last year Google I/O was canceled due to the pandemic. It’s unclear if it will cancel its annual developer conference again this year.
Google returning to the office in April could be a sign things are getting better
The continuing rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine is moving us closer and closer to normalcy. The fact that Google is considering returning to in-office work is a promising sign that change is coming. Google was one of the first companies to let their employees work remotely.
This news also falls in line with Google’s other plans to initiate a flexible workweek. In that plan, workers will return to in-office work for a few days, and then work remotely the rest of the week. If any company can get the logistics right to return to in-office work, Google is probably it.
This will also be good for productivity and morale since people will be able to see their co-workers.