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Google delays return to office to January

Sundar Pichai, chief executive officer of Alphabet Inc., wears a protective mask while attending a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden, not pictured, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021.

Stefani Reynolds | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Google is postponing its voluntary return to the office to Jan. 10, CEO Sundar Pichai announced in a blog post Tuesday.

The news marks Google’s third delay in office returns and comes as several tech companies including Amazon, Facebook, and Apple reassess return to office plans amid the spread of the highly contagious delta variant of the Covid-19 virus.

Pichai said the extension will offer workers more flexibility. Beyond Jan. 10 the company will allow different countries and locations to decide when to end the voluntary work-from-home conditions with at least a 30-day notice. Google has continuously adjusted its Covid-related workplace policies based on what various geographies’ government health experts recommend.

“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 said.

Last December, Google delayed its return to offices to Sept. 1, after which employees would be required to work in person for at least three days a week.

In July, Pichai announced a second delay, to Oct. 18, and said returning workers would be required to get vaccinated.

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