As the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus rapidly spreads on a global scale, many international and U.S. business enterprises are reevaluating their vaccination and mask policies. One company that has decided to delay moving forward currently is internet giant Google, which postponed the date when its employees must return to the office until after January 10, 2022. Google was also one of the first companies to institute a work-from-home policy because of the pandemic.

CEO Sundar Pichai told employees the company is delaying the mandatory return to office work until January 2022. The current voluntary policy lasts through January 10th. After this date, Google’s local offices will decide when, and if, working onsite in the office is mandatory. Staff will be notified thirty days in advance if so required.

In an email to employees, Pichai said “Beyond January 10th, we will enable countries and locations to make determinations on when to end voluntary work-from-home based on local conditions.” However, Pichai did not provide a specific date when employees anywhere in the world must return to the workplace.

Google had already delayed its scheduled return to the workplace from September to October 18 based upon a drastic increase in delta variant cases. A memo from Pichai to employees states it is optional for Google employees to work onsite until at least January 10th. Workers will receive the 30-days notice before any mandatory return to their offices is required.

Google plans on approximately 60% of employees returning to their original workplaces. Google previously approved 85% of employee requests to work remotely or relocate once Google facilities fully reopen. 

“The road ahead may be a little longer and bumpier than we hoped, yet I remain optimistic that we will get through it together,” Pichai wrote.Many companies, including Amazon, have delayed the timelines for the return of their employees to onsite workplaces to 2022 for U.S. workers because of the resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic. Facebook also postponed any workplace return until January 2022. Apple also postponed its plans for reopening its offices.

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