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Google Expects to Reopen U.S. Offices Over Next Month

By Micah Maidenberg 

Google said staff may start returning to some of its U.S. offices over the next month, another indication of how companies are preparing for a more normalized environment as Covid-19 vaccinations pick up.

The search-engine giant owned by Alphabet Inc. said Wednesday the initial return period will be voluntary as offices begin to reopen but with capacity limits, according to an email from Google's top people executive Fionna Cicconi.

"Conditions vary significantly from state to state, so you'll hear directly from your local leaders when your office is eligible to reopen, " Ms. Cicconi said in the email, which was viewed by The Wall Street Journal. The company is advising workers to get vaccinated against Covid 19, but isn't making it mandatory for returning to the workplace.

Returning to the office remains optional at Google until September, according to Ms. Cicconi's email to employees.

Corporations that scattered their staff to work remotely have been gaming out when -- if ever -- employees should start reoccupying sites that have largely been empty since the pandemic broke out about a year ago.

A number of big companies have said they will test so-called hybrid work arrangements, where employees split their time between home and office.

Alphabet and Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai has said working together in person is a core part of Google's culture.

The company, which is based in Mountain View, Calif., has said it plans to spend $7 billion this year to expand its footprint of offices and data centers in the U.S. It is creating new office sites in Minnesota, Texas and North Carolina, and plans to add roles at existing locations in cities like Chicago and Atlanta.

Amazon.com Inc. said this week that it believes most of its U.S. staff will be back in the office by the early fall, according to a blog post. Twitter Inc., however, has said it will allow most employees to work from home permanently. Some companies, including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Salesforce. com Inc., have moved to get rid of chunks of their office space.

Write to Micah Maidenberg at micah.maidenberg@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 31, 2021 15:38 ET (19:38 GMT)

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