With all states across the country announcing when COVID vaccines would be available to the general public, Google (GOOG) is looking to reopen its offices in parts of the country on a volunteer basis ahead of its previous Sept. 1 deadline.
The notice came in an internal memo obtained by CNBC to employees stating that offices would open in a limited capacity in April based on vaccine availability and positive COVID cases decreasing. According to CNBC, Google confirmed the memo, which came from Google’s head of people operations Fiona Cicconi.
“It’s now been a year since many of us have been working from home, and the thought of returning to the office might inspire different emotions,” Cicconi said in the memo.
Cicconi also urged workers to get the COVID vaccine but made no mention of the shot being mandatory to return to work.
Google also provided additional information to employees describing the formal application process to continue working remotely after Sept. 1 for more than 14 days per year. However, it did stipulate that it could call employees back to their assigned office at any point.
Google was one of the first major U.S. companies to announce that employees would work remotely during the pandemic.
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Google is not the only company anxious to get offices up and running again. Amazon (AMZN) is also looking ahead to its June 30 reopening date, with fall as a deadline for nearly all workers to be back to work.
Amazon issued in an employee memo that it is planning on returning to an “office-centric culture” as its baseline as it believes it “enables us to invent, collaborate, and learn together most effectively.”
While the company said the timeline will vary by country, depending on the COVID case trends and vaccination rates, it does expect reopening to be gradual. It said it anticipates people starting to come into the offices in summer, with most back by early fall.
In Europe, Amazon said it expects reopening to take longer due to their setbacks, saying, “As we get closer to the summer, we’ll develop more country-specific plans.”
Currently, Amazon’s offices are open and about 10% of the company’s workforce goes into the office each day, the company said. The e-commerce giant also said it will reopen its cafes, restaurants, and shops soon as well and plans to implement temperature screenings upon entry, physical distancing guidelines, office occupancy limits and a face covering requirement as well as enhanced cleaning protocols.
“The health and safety of our employees is and has been our top priority as we’ve thought about how and where people should work during the pandemic,” Amazon said in a statement to employees. “Over the past year, teams have done incredible work under difficult circumstances, and we’ve learned a lot about the pros and cons of remote work. We look forward to the day in the not-too-distant future when we can again invent together—safely and in person—on behalf of customers.”
Amazon made no mention of whether it would allow any employees to continue to work remotely following the reopening date.
Amazon closed its offices in March 2020 at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. ReadMore
Source : ibtimes