Google is extending its voluntary return-to-office policy through to January next year, chief executive Sundar Pichai said yesterday, citing uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in many parts of the world.

The rapid spread of the highly contagious Delta Covid-19 variant is also making companies reconsider their mask mandates and vaccine policies.

“Beyond January 10, we will enable countries and locations to make determinations on when to end voluntary work-from-home based on local conditions,” Pichai said in an email to employees.

In the last few weeks, companies including Inc and Lyft delayed their return-to-office time lines to 2022 for US workers due to the pandemic.

Google had earlier delayed its return-to-office policy from September to October. It was one of the first companies to ask its employees to work from home due to the health crisis.

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