Google is once again delaying its return to the office in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, although it’s now planning a change to the way people work when they get back. The New York Times has obtained company-wide email from Sundar Pichai indicating that the company will not only push back reopenings to September 2021, but pilot a “flexible workweek” when in-person work resumes. Staff would be expected to work in the office for at least three days of “collaboration,” but could spend any other days at home.
The company wants to test a theory that more flexible work would lead to better “productivity, collaboration, and well-being,” Pichai said. He boasted that no other company at its size had tried a “fully hybrid” model like this before. The exact timing for flexible schedules isn’t certain due to the varying state of the novel coronavirus across countries, and it might not apply to those who have to directly interact with customers and workers.