Last year, for the safety of their workers, Google shifted to work from home, closing their offices across the United States. With the ongoing rollout of vaccines in the US, Google is now looking likely to begin returning to working in-person and in-office.
As reported by Axios, an internal email from Google’s SVP and “chief people officer” Fionna Cicconi says that Google is carefully monitoring the safety of working in-person in the United States, stating that the situation is currently “mixed.”
Google’s primary focus, according to the email, is to help avoid another wave of COVID-19, but that they’re seeing “hopeful improvements” in parts of the United States. In response to those improvements, Cicconi says Google is likely to begin allowing Googlers in the US to choose whether or not to work from the office starting in the next month.
In the United States, the situation is also mixed and we must continue to stay vigilant to prevent a new wave of the virus. We are also seeing some hopeful improvements in parts of the country. I’m happy to say that over the next month, it is likely we’ll begin to welcome Googlers back to some of our US offices on a voluntary basis.— Fionna Cicconi, via Axios
For now, the return to in-person work seems limited to a return to the office. As also reported by Axios‘ Ina Fried, Google will not be participating in-person at the upcoming Mobile World Congress, despite the event being delayed from its usual February window into late June. One of the main reasons cited for Google skipping the event is COVID-19-related travel restrictions.
It remains to be seen how the return to in-office work will affect the kinds of in-person events that Google would normally host in the United States throughout the year, like their mid-year developer conference Google I/O, which was canceled last year due to COVID-19.
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