Google Postpones Return to Office Yet Again

Posted on December 3, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Google with 27 Comments

Google has again postponed the date that it expects workers to return to the office. But this time, it isn’t offering a new return date.

News of the delay comes via CNBC, which has viewed an email from Google vice president Chris Rackow to employees explaining the change. The search giant will no longer require workers to return to the office on January 10 as it had announced this past August.

Instead of a new return date, Mr. Rackow says that Google will wait for a “stable, long-term working environment” before it requires workers to return. But the firm still encourages workers to come into the office when “conditions allow, to reconnect with colleagues in person and start regaining the muscle memory of being in the office more regularly.”

“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 adds in the email.

Most Google employees will only be required to work from the office three days a week whenever something close to normal returns. But the firm had previously scheduled return dates of October 22 and December 17, but a disturbing number of anti-vaxxer idiots and the resulting COVID-19 variants like Delta have prolonged the pandemic. And with a new variant called Omicron now making its way around the globe, uncertainty reigns yet again.

Google has confirmed the news delivered in the internal email.

“We’ll continue to determine when offices reopen and start the hybrid work week based on local conditions, which are dynamic and vary greatly across locations,” a Google statement notes.

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Comments (27)

27 responses to “Google Postpones Return to Office Yet Again”

  1. texasray

    "Anti-vaxxer idiots"? Are the non-idiots the ones who got double shots? Triple shots? Do you become an anti-vaxxer idiot if you got two shots and then opt out of boosters? How many boosters do you need to take to make sure you don't turn in to an anti-vaxxer idiot?

    Are you saying that Delta was caused by anti-vaxxers? What exactly has caused the pandemic to be prolonged? Things are pretty damn normal in places like Florida and Texas. Did some "idiot anti-vaxxer" cause the new omicron (can't call it Xi for some strange reason) variant?

    • hrlngrv

      Aside from Texas and Florida having much higher per capita case fatality rates than California and New York from Jan 2021 on (1st full month vaccines became available), they're back to their own kind of natural selection normal.

      FWIW, Sep-Nov 2021 CDC data shows deaths at CA 8,425, FL 11,241, NY 3,247 and TX 16,972, so per million case fatality rates of CA 213, FL 523, NY 167 and TX 585. Great job, Florida & Texas!

    • bats

      Thurrott believes everything he read on the internet. Even from those who consistently lie.

    • jgraebner

      "Anti-vaxxer idiot" is a pretty good description for the people that believe their own research that they did on the Internet is somehow more thorough than that of the highly-educated and experienced medical experts who overwhelmingly agree that the vaccines are safe and effective. And, yes, those same experts believe that the larger the unvaccinated population is, the more opportunity the virus has to mutate.

      • texasray

        Simple question: When they started encouraging the general public to "get vaxxed - it is safe" about a year ago - How many of these "highly-educated and experienced medical experts" said that you'd be needing annual boosters (probably seasonal by this time next year) to maintain efficacy of these vaccines?

        • jgraebner

          Almost all of them said it was a possibility that boosters would be needed.

        • webdev511

          To Echo other responses, All of them. They said it could very well be like the seasonal flu vaccine and even become part of the flu vaccine blend. Pretty stark contrast to the wishful messaging that it would just go away, which it almost certainly won't, BUT is likely to receed into the background by becoming a great spreader/replicator and only rarely causing catastrophic symptoms in a host.

          Sure would be great if Omicron is the variant that does that, but until we know, probably best to treat it as if it is likely to cause serious symptoms that require professional treatment.

        • pecosbob04

          I give how many? The answer of course is irrelevant. Any "highly-educated and experienced medical experts" who doesn't adjust there advice based on changing circumstances is neither. The virus to a great extent then and less so now is an unknown entity. Hence the 'novel' in the name. " As Emerson said"

          “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. . . ."


    • pecosbob04

      You lost me at "Things are pretty damn normal in places like Florida and Texas."

      • lvthunder

        Why? Have you been to those places to see how normal people are there? California has more COVID then Florida does even though there are no mandates in Florida and in San Francisco and LA you have to show your vax card and ID to eat at a restaurant.

        • hrlngrv

          Would you like an HCQ or Ivermectin chaser to go with your Florida official statistics credulousness?

        • jgraebner

          Yes, the official numbers in Florida are low right now, although the state has also been repeatedly caught underreporting. Still, it probably is true that the case rate is lower there than other states as the infection rate tends to be cyclical and Florida hit such a high peak over the summer that the valley is lower than in states like California that are now maintaining a flatter rate. If Omicron does turn out to be as infectious as it looks like it could be, then Florida's constant refusal to enforce even the most common-sense safety policies will likely result in another massive spike in the coming months.

        • pecosbob04

          I have been to both states. California has almost twice the population of Florida. "in San Francisco and LA you have to show your vax card and ID to eat at a restaurant." You say that like it's a bad thing; also too the situation is more nuanced than that.


          • lvthunder

            It absolutely is a bad thing. What about the people that are allergic to the vaccine or have other true medical conditions that it's not a good idea for them to get the vaccine? There are no exceptions for these people. It's all about government control. How much of your medical information do you want to be spread around? This is a huge slippery slope.

            Also, liberals have been telling me for years that requiring an ID to vote was racist, but now it's OK to require it to eat lunch. They have also been telling me my body my choice, but I won't get into that here.

            BTW I am not an anti-vaxxer and have gotten the two shots. I'm not sure I'm eligible for the booster yet or not. I am very much against government mandates.

    • lvthunder

      He just likes to call people who disagree with him names.

  2. StevenLayton

    Wow, Covid really does produce some passionate and angry views points. Maybe we should take it down a notch and change the subject to a far less contentious topic, maybe religion or Climate Change?

  3. chrisfromneptune2

    You call them "Anti-vaxxer idiots" when all they want is not being forced into an experiment (10 years of safety testing is usual) that has a higher all-cause mortality than not taking it? I thought this was a tech site. Mass formation psychosis is strong here.

    • webdev511

      From the tech side of things, mRNA vaccines have been in development since the 70's, so the base process is extensively tested at this point. The only thing to test with them is if the messenger strand being delivered is the right one for any given job.

      No one is going to say that the process to develop the SARS‑CoV‑2 vaccine wasn't highly compressed, but global pandemics do tend to have that effect.

      • chrisfromneptune2

        Simple questions such as, any adverse side effects or development of children born while the mother has taken the vaccine, at the 5 year old mark? You can't compress this kind of testing, you need time to know these answers. Especially important when you rush an experiment and force them in many countries where livelihoods are being removed if not taken. For mostly irrational hysteria and panic.

  4. madthinus

    I guess big tech is playing a game of chicken. The only way they can safely ask staff to return to offices is to enforce a vaccination requirement. That is massive political topic, sadly I might add. My guess would he that Apple would bite the bullet and roll such a policy out. That is my guess.

    • daniel7878

      Nah… I don’t think it’s a vax issue at all. I think it’s more of a game of chicken with other companies. You don’t want to be the first one(s) that says get your ass back in the office, and then when someone gets sick you become the big bad that forced them back.

      • hrlngrv

        In this instance, collusion with the state government abetting it may be the best course forward. That is, with a representative from the governor's office, get HR heads from Google, Apple, Facebook, etc together (maybe virtually) and work out a common return-to-the-office time table.

  5. bats

    The real reason Google is doing this: Save money for legal fees (lol).

  6. hrlngrv

    Gotta wonder whether Google may be facing a lack of drivers with class B drivers licenses willing to drive between San Francisco and Silicon Valley.