Tech giant Google said it now expects roughly 20% of its employees to keep working from home after a new policy goes into effect in September.
It is a reversal from a previous policy in which workers were expected to return to the office three days a week, suggesting companies are still plotting out workplace rules as the coronavirus pandemic wanes in the U.S. but rages elsewhere.
Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said he expects 60% of employees to return to their offices for a few days a week, while another 20% will start working in new office locations.
“One of Google‘s biggest advantages is our global footprint. We are investing in many great communities globally — which creates more opportunity for employees to move around throughout their careers,” he wrote in a midweek message to employees.
In his note, Mr. Pichai noted the pandemic is still raging in places like India and Brazil even as case counts and deaths decline alongside vaccine rollouts in the U.S. and other places.
“I know this past year hasn’t been easy for anyone and many Googlers are still suffering as the pandemic wears on. We will get through it — together — as a Google community,” he wrote. “I am profoundly optimistic that once we do, we will be able to come back together in our offices to see all the people we have missed. And we’ll be able to work together in entirely new ways that improve both our work and our lives.”