Google Delays Office Return Amid Delta Variant Surge

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Google has been accused of abusing its market dominance to stifle competition
Google has been accused of abusing its market dominance to stifle competition AFP / JOSH EDELSON

Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google parent company Alphabet, informed employees Wednesday of an extended delay to return to offices.

Pichai also included a mandate for anyone on campus to be vaccinated for the coronavirus, making Google one of the first major companies to do so.

“Getting vaccinated is one of the most important ways to keep ourselves and our communities healthy in the months ahead,” read Pichai's note to employees.

The vaccine mandate applies to U.S. office locations “in the coming weeks” and to other regions “in the coming months.”

Google will extend its return to the office until Oct. 18 for its over 130,000 employees. 

Pichai has encouraged employees to return to the office but has kept the option open for everyone to have the choice to stay home, as well. 

“We are excited that we’ve started to re-open our campuses and encourage Googlers who feel safe coming to sites that have already opened to continue doing so,” Pichai stated in the email.

Amid cases rising, Pichai explains though that the decision will be best for his employees and the stake of a complete return.

“At the same time, we recognize that many Googlers are seeing spikes in their communities caused by the Delta variant and are concerned about returning to the office.”

It was noted in the email that upon the return in October, he will allow for employees to apply to work from home for the remainder of the year under “special circumstances.”

Pichai is hopeful that his discussion to extend work from home and mandate vaccines will allow for a confident return to the office.

“Seeing Googlers together in the offices these past few weeks filled me with optimism, and I’m looking forward to brighter days ahead,” he said.

“I hope these steps will give everyone greater peace of mind as offices reopen.”

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