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Google delays initial office reopenings as COVID-19 spikes in the US

At the end of May, Sundar Pichai laid out when Google would begin to reopen their offices. Since then, circumstances in the United States have changed, and Google is delaying their original July 6 date.

According to Bloomberg, all US offices will remain closed until September 7 (Labor Day). The original plan was to “start to open more buildings in more cities” on July 6.

A memo to employees says that Google needs “to see that the US outlook as a whole is stable before we move forward.”

‘For all of you that are working from home, please continue to do so unless you are told otherwise by your manager,’ Rackow wrote in the latest memo. ‘We don’t expect this guidance to change until Monday, September 7 (Labor Day) at the earliest.’

As of May, less than 5% of Googlers — those “critical to business continuity” — around the world are working from offices. The first wave of people coming back are those whose jobs require “special equipment,” like hardware teams that need access to labs.

Safety measures will be in place with office layouts changing, while only 10-15% of employees will be present at a time. Google’s “slow, deliberate, and incremental” return would have continued in September with the goal of building to 30% capacity, so that “most people who want to come in could do so on a limited basis.”

Most employees are already working remotely until 2021, and were given a $1,000 expense allowance for equipment and office furniture, while Google experiments with virtual events to build a sense of community.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: