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Google is accelerating partial reopening of offices and putting limits on future of remote work

Google CEO Sundar Pichai addresses on stage during the annual Google I/O developers conference in Mountain View, California, May 8, 2018.

Stephen Lam | Reuters

Google, one of the before all major U.S. companies to send employees home last year because of the coronavirus, is setting new remote work guidelines as it speeds up representations to get staffers back to the office.

As millions more Americans get vaccinated by the day, Google is accelerating reopening plans in some parts of the U.S. on a volunteer infrastructure ahead of the Sept. 1 return deadline, according to internal documents viewed by CNBC. Offices will reopen in a narrow capacity in April based on vaccine availability and a downward trend in Covid-19 cases.

“It’s now been a year since numerous of us have been working from home, and the thought of returning to the office might inspire different emotions,” scribbled Fiona Cicconi, Google’s new head of people operations, in a companywide email on Wednesday. Cicconi advised employees to get the Covid-19 vaccine but mean it’s not mandatory.

If employees want to work remotely after Sept. 1, for more than 14 days per year, they’ll keep to formally apply for it, according to a separate note marked “Need to know.” They can apply for up to 12 months in “the most aberrant circumstances.” The company could, however, call employees back to their assigned office at any point, the note phrased.

Google is preparing for a broad reopening in September, when employees will be expected to show up in person three eras a week. The company is taking a different approach from industry peers such as Facebook and Twitter, which pledged to allow most remote work indefinitely.

In an emailed statement to CNBC, Google confirmed the memos and added that “undying moves for personal reasons are still on hold.”

CNBC first reported in December that Google axed the conviction of remote work and that it expects workers to “live within commuting distance” of offices.

Cicconi wrote in Wednesday’s email that wage-earners will return to rejiggered offices that will allow owners to bring their dogs. She said the planning do setting-up exercises was led by the company’s Real Estate and Workplace Services groups.

“The offices won’t look exactly the way you remember them, but our amazing REWS bands are doing their best to make them comfortable, including providing meals, snacks and amenities where tenable,” Cicconi said. “We will even be welcoming our Dooglers back.”

Cicconi warned employees to “stay vigilant to avert a new wave of the virus,” adding that Brazil is seeing “significant hardship” with rising cases. 

Those staffers who left-hand the Bay Area during the pandemic for less stress and perhaps to save money may have an incentive to return. In one of the notes on Wednesday, the enterprise said it may adjust employees’ salaries based on where they work.

Axios reported earlier on Google’s scripts to have some employees return in April.

Watch Now: Google extends remote work through Sept. 1, spurns permanent remote work

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that if employees, after Sept. 1, require to work remotely for more than 14 days per year, they will have to submit a formal attention. A previous version mischaracterized the circumstances which would require an application.

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