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Google delays back-to-office recall until at least 2022

Chocolate Factory says never-ending pandemic threw spanner in October plan

Google has delayed recalling its staff to their office desks until at least January 10, 2022.

In an open email today, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai told his staff they can choose to remain working from home until that date as the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to spread.

He said "tens of thousands of Googlers" had already come back to the office to some degree voluntarily, and that there would be no mandatory recall until the New Year, and even then it would depend on local conditions.

"The road ahead may be a little longer and bumpier than we hoped, yet I remain optimistic that we will get through it together," he added.

"It’s heartening to see Googlers starting to come back to more offices globally. The ability to reconnect in person has been re-energizing for many of us, and will make us even more effective in the weeks and months ahead."

Google staff will get a 30-day warning period before they have to come back into the relatively luxurious offices the Chocolate Factory provides. The return-to-office had been planned for October 18.

To sweeten the pot further, Pichai said the internet giant is granting employees two "global reset days," also known as giving staff a Friday off, on October 22 and December 17. He said this was to "rest and recharge."

Google is coming somewhat late to this decision. Amazon saw which way the virus was blowing and this month kicked back an end to live-at-work to January, and Apple and Facebook quickly followed suit. Microsoft appears to be sticking to its October return date for now. ®

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