Google is making major changes to its policies, relaxing its vaccine and mask requirements, as well as reinstating many office-based perks.
Like many companies, Google has struggled to strike a balance between bringing people back to the office and keeping them safe. The company signaled in July 2021 that it would require vaccination for employees returning to the office. A few months later, in December, it said employees who refused to get vaccinated would be fired.
The company is now changing its policies, according to CNBC, and will no longer require vaccination. In addition, Google is dropping its mask and social distancing requirement, and is relaxing its testing requirements as well. The news was shared with employees via an email from David Radcliffe, VP, Real Estate and Workplace Services.
The company is also reinstating some of the perks it is well-known for, such as massage services, fitness centers, and the various “informal space,” including game rooms, lounges, music rooms, and more.
“We’re at the beginning of a journey, so the office experience will feel pretty similar to what it was like pre-Covid,” Radcliffe said. “We’re designing and piloting options to support new ways of working together and we’ll gather insights, data and feedback to help us learn as we go.”
According to CNBC, the change is the result of the current state of the pandemic, which appears to be waning significantly, for the first time since the onset.