Amid Omicron scare, Google delays mandatory return to office beyond Jan 10

WION Web Team
California, United States Published: Dec 03, 2021, 10:34 AM(IST)

File photo: In the midst of the pandemic, Black female employees at Google are allegedly being mistreated. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Company officials said the update was consistent with its earlier guidance that a return to work would not take place earlier than January 10 and will be determined by local conditions

In the wake of growing concerns over the Omicron variant of the Coronavirus and some reluctance to comply with company-mandated vaccinations, Alphabet Inc's Google said on Thursday it will delay its January return-to-work plan indefinitely.

Google had announced in August that it would expect its workers to come into the office approximately three days a week as of Jan. 10 at the earliest, ending its voluntary work-from-home policy.

Also read | With Omicron, reinfection is three times more likely: South African health body

On Thursday, Google executives told employees that the company would put off the deadline beyond that date.

Company officials said the update was consistent with its earlier guidance that a return to work would not take place earlier than January 10 and will be determined by local conditions.

According to Google, nearly 40 per cent of US employees came into an office in recent weeks, while other regions had higher percentages.

Also read | Omicron scare: New York records 5 cases, bringing number of new variant cases in US to eight

However, CNBC reported last week that hundreds of employees protested the vaccination mandate for employees working on US government contracts.

In the midst of the pandemic, Google employees were one of the first to work from home. The company has 85 offices in over 60 countries.

Watch | Omicron Scare: Biden administration announces winter campaign against COVID-19

As of Thursday, 79 cases of the Omicron variant have been reported in Europe, the EU's public health agency said. Recently, New York (USA), Karnataka (India), have also reported cases of the variant. 

A few countries, like Germany, have also started imposing restrictions to prevent the spread of this newly identified variant. The disease was first discovered in southern Africa last month.

(With inputs from agencies)

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