Google employees in the United States will likely be allowed to return to the office next month, the company said on Wednesday.
Google and other tech companies that shuttered their offices at the start of the pandemic are gradually reopening workspaces as vaccines become widely available. Facebook told employees that its Menlo Park headquarters would open in May, and Uber has allowed a limited number of employees to return to its San Francisco offices. Other tech companies, like Twitter, have allowed employees to work from home indefinitely.
Workers at Google will have the option to return in April, Fiona Cicconi, Google’s chief people officer, told employees in an email seen by The New York Times. Offices will operate at a limited capacity, and reopenings will vary state by state, based on the number of coronavirus cases in the area, Ms. Cicconi said.
“Offices will begin to open in a limited capacity based on specific criteria that include increases in vaccine availability and downward trends in Covid-19 cases,” Ms. Cicconi wrote. “We advise you to get a vaccine, though it will not be mandatory to have one in order for Googlers to return to the office.”
Workers who do opt to return will be required to wear masks, practice social distancing and pass a health survey, Google said.
Google said that it would not change the September date when it plans to require employees in the United States to return to the office, and that employees could continue to work remotely until then. Some of Google’s offices in Asia and the Middle East have already reopened.