Google will reopen offices starting July 6 for a small number of employees, but warns that things will 'look and feel different' than when they left

Google will reopen offices starting July 6 for a small number of employees, but warns that things will 'look and feel different' than when they left
Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during the Google I/O keynote session at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California on May 7, 2019.JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images
  • Google will begin to reopen its doors on July 6 for a select number of employees who need or wish to return to the office.
  • Employees who do return will be met with a very different office, CEO Sundar Pichai said, promising that there will be "rigorous health and safety measures in place."
  • Employees who continue to work from home will receive $1,000 to expense on office equipment.

Google said it will begin to reopen offices on July 6 for employees who need or wish to use them, as it begins a staggered return to the workplace.

"Beginning July 6, assuming external conditions allow, we'll start to open more buildings in more cities," said CEO Sundar Pichai in a letter to employees, which was published on the company's blog and first reported by Cnet.

"This will give Googlers who need to come back to the office — or, capacity permitting, who want to come back — the opportunity to return on a limited, rotating basis (think: one day every couple of weeks, so roughly 10 percent building occupancy)."
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Pichai added that there will be "rigorous health and safety measures in place" put in place for those who do choose to return, adding, "the office will look and feel different than when you left."

As of right now, Google's plan is to get its office back to around 30% by September, but in the letter, Pichai acknowledged that everything is contingent on external conditions which could alter the roadmap.

While Pichai said Google is encouraging employees who can work from home to continue to do so, a "limited number" of roles will need to return to the office in 2020. Pichai said these employees will be notified by June 10.
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For those employees who do continue to work from home, Google will give them $1,000, or the equivalent in their national currency, to expense office equipment.

Google's announcement comes just days after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company was "aggressively" leaning towards remote working, and expects half of Facebook employees to be working remotely by 2030. Pichai, however, has been hesitant to make any such commitments for Google.
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