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Google delays return to office in Europe, Middle East, Africa

Google delays return to office in Europe, Middle East, Africa

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past a logo of Alphabet Inc's Google in front of at an office building in Zurich, Switzerland July 1, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Alphabet's Google said on Thursday (Dec 2) it is indefinitely pushing back its January return-to-office plan in Europe, the Middle East and Africa due to concerns over the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Google in August extended its voluntary return-to-office policy until Jan 10, beyond which it said it would allow countries and locations to decide when to end voluntary work-from-home based on local conditions.

On Thursday, Matt Brittin, Google's president for the EMEA region, told employees that the company would put off the deadline beyond that date. Insider first reported the news.

Google said Brittin's message was in line with its earlier guidance that a return to workplaces would begin no earlier than Jan 10.

US and North America employees have not yet received any guidance regarding changes in office return plans.

Google was one of the first companies to ask its employees to work from home during the pandemic.

Europe has so far recorded 79 cases of the Omicron variant, first detected in southern Africa last month, the European Union's public health agency said earlier on Thursday.

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Source: Reuters/ lk

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