Obligation to vaccine for all Google employees e Facebook who are going to work face-to-face in the office. Let’s find out all the details together.
Google and Facebook: vaccination obligation for employees
At the start of the pandemic, Big Tech led the way inembrace remote work. Now, it is also showing how companies are planning a safe return to the office. However, it doesn’t seem like everyone is on the same page. While Google e Facebook they announced today that will require all employees to be vaccinated before returning to the office, the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, said the company is considering whether mandatory vaccinations are “the right answer or not.”
In an email sent to employees, the CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai, revealed that anyone who works on Google campuses will have to be vaccinated. The policy will begin to spread to the United States in the coming weeks and to other regions in the coming months.
The mandate will apply only in areas where vaccines are widely available and will vary according to local regulations. Google also noted that it will do exceptions for those who they cannot be vaccinated due to “medical or other protected reasons”. Pichai also explained that Google will extend its policy of voluntary work from home until 18 October, promising at least 30 days notice before moving on to “complete back-to-office plans”.
“We are very excited to have started reopening our campuses and encourage Googlers who feel safe to come to the sites that have already opened to continue to do so,” Pichai wrote. “At the same time, we recognize that many Googlers are seeing spikes in their communities caused by the Delta variant and are worried about going back to the office.”
Hours after Pichai’s comments, Facebook also said that it would have required US workers to be vaccinated. “As soon as our offices reopen, we will require anyone who comes to work on any of our US campuses to be vaccinated,” Facebook Vice President Lori Goler said in a statement to CNBC. “How we implement this policy will depend on local conditions and regulations.”
Apple’s CEO, on the other hand, said the company was focusing on “when to return,” noting that last week has moved its timeline from the beginning of September to at least October. This uncertainty also extends to its retail stores. Bloomberg reports that Apple plans to request masks in its physical stores starting today, July 29, but the company it is not requiring retail workers to be vaccinated.
In May, Pichai blogged that the “future of work is flexibility” and that Google would allow some workers to apply for a completely remote job within the company or make arrangements to move to other offices. Facebook also said it expects to increase remote hiring. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company expects that half of its workforce remote work in the next 5-10 years. Also Microsoft has boarded the hybrid work model with the permanent remote work option, as well as Twitter e Spotify.
However, it’s also clear that many Big Tech companies are eager to get back to the office, at least in some way. In early June, Cook sent an email to the staff asking some to return to the office at least three days a week, while others would be required to return full time. The news sparked some reaction by Apple employees. Also Amazon it is apparently pushing for a return to “office-centric” life.
In any case it is clear that the Delta variant is clearly forcing companies and their workers to re-evaluate and adapt their plans. For now, Google and Facebook are the first to request vaccinations as a requirement but it may not be long before others follow.