'Despite the success of our ongoing safety protocols and increased vaccination rates, we are shifting the start date of the hybrid work'
Workers at Google and Ford in the U.S. will be staying home far longer than initially expected.
Google previously announced that workers are expected to be back Jan. 10, 2022 but now says it will wait until the new year to assess when U.S. offices can safely return to a “stable, long-term working environment,” according to a report from CNBC, citing an email from Chris Rackow, Google’s security VP, sent to full-time employees.
Also, none of the U.S. locations will adopt the hybrid working mandate on Jan. 10, says Rackow.
Meanwhile, Ford will push office workers’ return until March, instead of the earlier scheduled return next month, CNN reported.
"The state of COVID-19 virus remains fluid, and despite the success of our ongoing safety protocols and increased vaccination rates, we are shifting the start date of the hybrid work model to March," says Dan Barbossa, a spokesperson for the company.
The decision will affect roughly 30,000 employees.
"We will begin with a pilot phase for select employees in February, and in March, we will expand it so all non-site-dependent team members can begin working flexibly between Ford campuses and remote options," says Barbossa.
With the return to the workplace, Deloitte Canada is giving employees the flexibility to choose where, when and how they work.
Return to office encouraged
Google will allow specific locations to decide on the timing of their office workers, and the company’s “Local Incident Response Teams” will help determine each office’s risk level.
Meanwhile, the company will encourage workers to continue to come in “where conditions allow, to reconnect with colleagues in person and start regaining the muscle memory of being in the office more regularly.”
Previously, Amazon announced it is allowing individual teams to decide the number of days employees will have to be in the office and the number of times they can work from home. This decision will be solely up to the director, senior leaders and teams.
Google will give all full-time employees who need it a 30-day period to transition to the hybrid schedule, according to Rackow, in the CNBC report.
“We will be re-learning our working rhythms together in 2022, which brings new opportunities and new challenges as we experiment with more flexible ways of working,” he said.
Montreal is hoping to entice workers back downtown with a new ad campaign. Launched by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, the initiative uses slam poetry composed by a local artist to pay tribute to downtown’s “creative and innovative character.”
But some employers – such as GSoft in Montreal – have embraced a fully remote model.