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Google Delays Return-to-Office Mandate Until Early January

Google had set an October return-to-office date while allowing workers to return to the office if they'd been vaccinated. It now has delayed the mandate.
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Alphabet's Google  (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class A Report is delaying, until early January, plans to have workers return to the office, amid a surge in infections from the Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus. 

Chief Executive Sundar Pichai set a new target date of Jan. 10, which he says will offer workers more flexibility. 

Beyond that date, the company will allow different countries and locations to decide when to end the voluntary work-from-home conditions with at least 30 days' notice. 

Google had set an October return-to-office date while allowing workers to return to the office if they'd been vaccinated.

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"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 in a blog post Tuesday. 

While some employees have expressed reluctance to return to offices for jobs that they say they can do remotely, Google and other big tech companies have been advocates for returning to the office. 

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"The ability to reconnect in person has been reenergizing for many of us, and will make us even more effective in the weeks and months ahead," Pichai said. 

Currently, the company has a voluntary return-to-work policy that Google says  tens of thousands of its employees have used. 

Pichai also said that the company would have two more "global reset days" -- Oct. 22 and Dec. 17 -- for employees to "rest and recharge." 

Google had more than 135,000 full-time employees as of the end of 2020. 

In July, Google said that it would delay its return-to-work plan to October while requiring anyone working on its campuses to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

"Getting vaccinated is one of the most important ways to keep ourselves and our communities healthy in the months ahead," Pichai had said in an email to employees at the time.

That plan was a delay from the company's December 2020 plan to return to offices by Sept. 1, 2021. 

Alphabet shares at last check were 0.6% higher near $2,911.