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(Photo : GettlyImages/ TOLGA AKMEN) Google office

Google has announced that it would delay its plans to have employees back in the office due to the rise in COVID-19 cases.

All Google employees can continue working remotely until Oct. 18, according to CEO Sunder Pichai. He also stated that all employees expected to return to the office would have to be fully vaccinated.

Google Employees Must Be Vaccinated

According to CNBC, Google reopened some of its offices for employees who will return voluntarily. However, the company said that employees would not be required to come back until September.

The sudden surge in COVID-19 cases is due to the continuous spread of the Delta variant. Google has more than 140,000 employees.

Pichai wrote a memo on July 28. It was later published on the company's official blog.

Also Read: Google Pay: Save Digital Vaccine Cards on Android, Show it to Local Establishments With API

The Google CEO said that since the cases are increasing due to the Delta variant, they are concerned about the safety of the employees returning to the office.

The delay gives the tech companies more time to prepare to get back to work while providing flexibility for those who need it.

Will Other Companies Follow?

So far, Google is the only tech giant that required employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Pichai added that all employees in the United States will be required to present their vaccination cards. The new rule will apply in the next few weeks. Google will extend the requirement to other regions in the next few months.

Google stated that when the employees go back, it will increase the flexibility of remote work. This is in response to the requests of some employees regarding the need to go back to the offices, accordng to Business Standard. 

Meanwhile, Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, is still undecided on whether he will impose the same rule at Apple or not.

According to The New York Times, Apple also delayed its plans of having employees return to work due to the surge in COVID-19 cases in the country.

The Apple employees were supposed to go back to their respective offices in September. However, the employees were not happy about the company's new policy that will require them to go to their respective offices at least three days a week.

Google's Hybrid Setup

Google's hybrid work model was announced in May of 2021. The hybrid setup will require only 20% of the employees to come back to the office.

Pichai stated that they believe the future of work is flexible and that the changes they will employ will benefit employees who are more comfortable working in their own homes.

The hybrid shows that 135,000 of Google's employees can continue to work from home until the end of this year.

Also, the employees can work from any location instead of their main office for up to 20 days per year. That is an increase from the original allotment of 10 days.

Google is based in Mountain View, California, and will continue to offer more reset days off to help employees cope with the stress that the pandemic caused.

Meanwhile, other tech giants like Twitter and Facebook have announced that employees can permanently work from home if their jobs allow it.

Related Article: Apple Offers Paid Vacation Leaves for Employees COVID-19 Vaccination, Including Those Experiencing Side Effects

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Written by Sophie Webster

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