- Google workers must be vaccinated before starting in-person work, Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai told employees in an email Wednesday.
- This policy will roll out in the U.S. within the next several weeks, and the company will expand it to other countries "in the coming months." "The implementation will vary according to local conditions and regulations, and will not apply until vaccines are widely available in your area," Pichai said.
- The company also announced plans to extend its voluntary work-from-home policy through Oct. 18, according to Pichai's email.
Google's announcement arrived the day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended fully vaccinated individuals resume masking when indoors — a reverse course from its May guidance. Both changes also follow the news that the highly contagious Delta variant is driving up coronavirus cases across the country.
The shifting pandemic landscape is complicating employers' return to work plans, and Google's policy changes are a prime example. "We recognize that many Googlers are seeing spikes in their communities caused by the Delta variant and are concerned about returning to the office," Pichai said. "This extension will allow us time to ramp back into work while providing flexibility for those who need it."
The approach will also allow Google to adjust its plans as the broader circumstances change, Pichai said. The tech giant signaled it will prioritize communication as it enters a somewhat nebulous stage. Google will give workers at least 30 days' notice before it transitions to its full return plans, Pichai said.