Google is reportedly delaying its employees’ return to the office until September 2021 and is testing the idea of a three-day in-office workweek with remote work taking up the other days.
The New York Times reported on the staff email from CEO Sundar Pichai, who said the company is rolling out the pilot program once it is safe to return to the office.
In the email obtained by the Times, Pichai said the company is testing whether or not adopting a flexible work model will lead to “greater productivity, collaboration and well-being.”
Employees would have to work in the office at least three days a week in what Pichai called “collaboration days.” The remaining days would be spent working at home.
“No company at our scale has ever created a fully hybrid work force model — though a few are starting to test it — so it will be interesting to try,” Pichai said, according to the Times.
Google has been at the forefront of the hybrid work movement, becoming one of the first companies in march to tell employees to start working from home. The company has also twice before delayed when it wants workers to return to offices.
Read Next: Google CEO: Hybrid Work is the Future
Originally, the company said January 2021 would be the return date, but that is obviously out of the question with COVID-19 cases rising and vaccination programs just now beginning.
Until now, the company was eyeing July for a return to the office.
According to the Times, here are some other ways Google is innovating to accommodate a new hybrid work strategy:
As part of its more flexible workplaces, Google said it planned to put in place new office designs in areas with lower coronavirus risk. It plans to offer options to employees like booking collaboration places for up to a dozen people and securing outdoor spaces for larger gatherings. For employees in need of a quiet space outside the home, Google will offer reservable desks at its offices.
Google also said it planned to keep developing new ways to help employees bridge the gap between the experience of working at the office and working from home, especially for employees who may not live in places well suited for remote work. The company said it was creating in-office presentation booths for sending professional-quality broadcasts to groups online.
You don’t have to take your cues from Google, but considering the company is consistently among the best-ranked employers, it’s not a bad idea to learn some lessons from an industry leader.