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Google backtracks on office returns and will allow employees to work remotely

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The company’s workers around the world can continue working remotely until September, after which they can choose between coming back to their pre-pandemic office, working out of a Google office in a different city or permanently working from anywhere if their role allows it, a Google (GOOGL) spokesperson told CNN Business.

The new policy, which will go into effect September 1, was shared with employees in a note from Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Wednesday morning, the spokesperson confirmed.

Pichai said he expects 60% of the company’s global workforce will return to their pre-pandemic offices a few days a week, while 20% will move to a different office and the remaining 20% will work from home. It’s a slight departure from Google’s previous plan, in which all employees would have come into the office three days a week — a model Silicon Valley peer Uber (UBER) has already adopted.

Google has roughly 140,000 employees around the world, with offices in close to 170 cities and 60 countries.

Companies scramble to protect their workers from India's Covid surge

Many of the tech industry’s biggest companies are gradually laying out plans to bring employees back as vaccinations pick up pace and many economies start to reopen, offering a potential road map for what office work looks like in year two of the pandemic.

Facebook (FB) has said it will also give employees the option of working remotely permanently unless their role requires being in the office, while Twitter has said employees can work from home “forever” if they so choose.

Google on Wednesday also doubled its annual “work-from-anywhere” allowance to four work weeks, meaning employees can spend up to 20 days a year away from their main office.



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