Google is now reportedly set to begin letting its workers come back to the office at several locations, following two years of work-from-home policies driven by COVID-19. The plan to end its work-from-home program will be a slow one, at a global scale. The search giant will start by ending the voluntary program for most workers in the Bay Area first, along with some other locations in the US.
In terms of timing, the change will be implemented the week of April 4.
What does this change in office policies mean for Google workers in the US?
Now, Google isn’t jumping straight back into an office-only policy for its workers either. In fact, the company says that its expectations center around a 3-day workweek. At least in terms of in-office work. Googlers will need to work the remaining two days remotely.
The changes won’t impact policies about vaccination either. Employees will still be expected to get vaccinated fully before returning to the office. Or they’ll need to have other accommodations to keep workers safe. That likely indicates the continued use of masks and social distancing.
Googlers will also still have some choice as to how their work schedule is laid out. Those who would prefer to come into the office more than three days of the week will be allowed to. And those who need accommodations to continue working from home can file for an extension of their work-from-home schedule.
How is the company helping workers transition?
In terms of the transition from work-from-home to the office, Google is aiming to help with that as well. Specifically via a pilot program, running through March, that will center around 15-minute-long virtual meetings with trained counselors. The meetings will be set up around the transition to new routines and the company’s hybrid approach. With the goal of helping workers and the company to continue to be fully functional.