Google is the latest tech giant to announce a further delay in its plans to return employees to the office, pushing the reopening of the workplace to January 2022.
The latest reassessment of the company’s return-to-office plans comes as the world grapples with yet another surge in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant. The return was originally slated for July 2021 before being postponed multiple times.
“The road ahead may be a little longer and bumpier than we hoped,” said Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
“For some locations, conditions are starting to improve, yet in many parts of the world the pandemic continues to create uncertainty,” Pichai added. “Acknowledging that we’ll extend our global voluntary return-to-office policy through January 10, 2022, to give more Googlers flexibility and choice as they ramp back.”
Other leading tech companies, including Facebook, Amazon, and Apple, are also delaying the return of their workers to the office.
Facebook made the announcement about its plans back in mid-August and also said that workers will not be returning until January 2022.
Meanwhile, workers are expected to report to Amazon’s US offices by January 3, 2022, whether they’re vaccinated or not. Unlike Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook will mandate vaccines for their workers prior to returning. For now, Microsoft is the only tech giant that plans to reopen this year on October 4.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, these trends are fuelling the sale of practical home office desks. Last year, furniture market revenue hit $233 billion. That said, many workers lack the space needed for an office, so small home office design ideas are also growing in popularity.