Google finally opens its offices to employees

As you may know, Google has delayed the return of its employees to the office several times over the past year. However, this time around, the tech giant seems to be really getting ready to welcome employees into its walls. And to quote the latest from CNBC, the company is easing some of its COVID-19 restrictions as part of its efforts to get back to business as usual, including easing vaccine requirements for employees.

It is important to recall that back in December last year, the same CNBC publication reported that Google would send employees who do not comply with vaccination requirements by January 18 on vacation unless they receive a valid medical or religious exemption. The report also states that these employees will eventually be fired if they continue to refuse to be vaccinated against the said virus.

Now, however, Google spokesperson Laura Lee Erickson has told the same news organization that the company dropped that requirement last month, although the reason for the decision was not explained. But to cite an email from Google Real Estate and Workplace Services Vice President David Radcliffe obtained by CNBC, the company is also now waiving its testing requirements, which also applied to vaccinated employees. It is waiving mask and social distancing requirements for vaccinated employees, with the exception of its offices in Santa Clara County, which also has its headquarters in Mountain View. However, unvaccinated employees still need to be allowed to work in offices and will still need to wear masks and be tested regularly if they show up for work.

It’s also important to note that in addition to easing its COVID-19 restrictions, Google is also reopening its “amenities” for employees, including fitness centers with massages, full shuttle service, more places to eat, and lounges and music rooms. On this, Laura Lee Erickson told CNBC: “We give our employees who welcome the opportunity to come to the office safely, where we can provide it. Based on the current conditions in the Bay Area, we are pleased that our employees who choose to come in now have the opportunity to access more places and services on site to work and connect with colleagues.”

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