After more than two years of working from home, Google will expect its workers in the San Francisco Bay Area and “several” other parts of the country to return to the office in April.
Tech companies led the way in closing their offices when the pandemic ramped up in March 2020, and are seen as a bellwether as to when other companies will similarly require their workers to come back into the office.
Google’s new hybrid work system will take effect the week of April 4. The Mountain View, Calif.,-based company said it expects most of its employees to be in the office three days a week and work from home two days, and those who wish to come in more can do so.
“Our hybrid model balances the best of being together in person and being anywhere,” Google said in a statement, adding that employees will have flexible options including “work from anywhere” weeks, transfers to different locations or fully remote work.
The tech giant said that since June, about 14,000 of its workers around the world have transferred to a new location or moved to fully remote work, with about 85% of such applications being approved.
Google said it will maintain its policy that all those working at its campuses must be vaccinated, but will drop mask and testing requirements for fully vaccinated employees. Office amenities, such as cafes, massages and shuttle buses, will also return.
Google’s return-to-the-office date was repeatedly pushed back last year due to surges of the delta and omicron variants. In December, the tech giant indefinitely postponed its planned Jan. 10 reopening.
According to a Google spokesperson at the time, 90% of Google’s U.S. offices had reopened, and about 40% of Google workers had already come back to the office on a voluntary basis.