The Google Logo in Black and White under a sepia shadeSource: Android Central

What you need to know

  • Google has canceled its plan to require US employees to return to their offices on January 10.
  • The search giant is deferring decisions on hybrid work setup timelines to its local offices.
  • Google still encourages employees to work in the office "where conditions allow" to gain "muscle memory."

Google appears to have pushed back its target date for the mandatory return to office of its US employees to next year. Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, announced in August that employees would be required to return on January 10, 2022, but this will not be the case.

In an email to employees, security vice president Chris Rackow said Google will no longer adopt a hybrid work setup come January 10 in any of its US offices (via CNBC). Instead, the search giant will let its local offices decide on the timelines for their employees safe return to their offices. Google will also form local incident response teams to assess the risk levels in each location.

Rackow went on to say that Google will wait until the new year to decide when it's safe for employees to adopt an in-office model. That said, he stated that Google still encourages employees to come in to their offices "where conditions allow" in order to regain the "muscle memory" of being in a physical office.

Google has reportedly reopened 90 percent of its US locations, with 40 percent of its employees voluntarily returning to work. The company will also keep its promise to provide full-time employees with a 30-day transition period from a remote work model to an office-based one.

The Mountain View-based tech behemoth previously planned to implement a hybrid work setup after September before delaying it until January of next year. It looks like US employees won't be required to follow a hybrid work schedule anytime soon.

Rackow didn't cite the Omicron variant as the reason for the new delay, but Google has reportedly postponed employees' return to office-based work across its international locations, including Europe, the Middle East and Africa due to growing concerns about the new COVID-19 variant.