Google has delayed its return-to-office yet again, this time pushing its Jan. 10 full reopening further into 2022, according to a memo sent by the company’s vice president of security Chris Rackow, CNBC reports.
Unlike previous announcements, the company did not set a new return date and says it will wait until the new year to assess when U.S. offices can fully reopen (nearly 40% of U.S. Googlers reported on-site in recent weeks) and provide a “stable, long-term working environment.”
Google is making a “smart move” by not setting a firm new return date, Dr. Denis Nash, a professor of epidemiology at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health, tells CNBC Make It. Giving employees a framework of when it will revisit the situation maximizes flexibility during “a crisis that often demands it of us,” Nash says, and it could be seen as a positive move by employees.
It’s likely more companies will follow Google’s move to delay reopening, especially in sectors where remote work is possible for many.
Uncertainties around the risks of the omicron variant could make it “impossible for employers to set a new return date with any type of confidence,” says Bradford S. Bell, a Cornell professor in strategic human resources.
Indeed, many companies have already experienced “failed attempts” at bringing people back to offices during the pandemic.
“When they made the option available, relatively few employees actually started coming…