Google is giving its employees one more month of being fully remote before requiring them back in the office at least three days a week.
The tech giant will “end the voluntary WFH period” on April 4 that it gave its employees at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, it said Wednesday.
The change will apply to “Google’s Bay Area offices and several other US locations,” the company added, with the decision on which three days employees come into the office determined by the products and functions their teams work on.
Workers can request an extension to work from home beyond April 4, apply to be permanently remote, or change their main office location. Google said it has granted around 85% of those applications — from nearly 14,000 employees worldwide — since last June.
Google and other large tech firms were among the first to go fully remote at the start of the pandemic two years ago. Since then, they’ve pushed back office reopening dates and adjusted their policies multiple times due to the emergence of new Covid-19 variants such as Delta and Omicron.
But Google now appears cautiously optimistic about bringing workers back to the office, at least around its California headquarters. The company last week stopped requiring masks at most of its offices in the San Francisco Bay Area, and reintroduced pre-pandemic perks such as onsite massages, company shuttles, cafes and gyms.
Microsoft (MSFT) said earlier that it would fully reopen its offices in Washington state and the Bay Area by February 28, while Amazon (AMZN) has lifted mask mandates for many of its vaccinated warehouse workers.
Google said Wednesday that employees who return to the office from April 4 onwards will need to be vaccinated unless they have been approved for a medical or other exemption, while those who remain unvaccinated must continue wearing masks and undergo regular testing.
-— CNN’s Brian Fung contributed to this report.