(Recasts, adds details about Google policy change)
Feb 23 (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google said on Wednesday it is restoring office perks such as massages and gyms at its Mountain View, Calif. headquarters and across the San Francisco Bay Area, as COVID-19 cases ease in the United States.
“Based on current conditions in the Bay Area, we’re pleased that our employees who choose to come in now have the ability to access more onsite spaces and services to work and connect with colleagues,” the company’s spokesperson said in a statement.
Google and other big tech companies have said they expect offices to be a major part of its workplaces even as they allow remote working for many staff, and in-office perks long associated with the tech industry could be a key way to draw people back.
Those who enter Google’s work sites will be required to be fully vaccinated or have an approved exemption, the company said, adding that wearing masks will be required in its Santa Clara County offices due to local regulations.
Google also said it is lifting its temporary weekly COVID-19 testing policy for those accessing its offices in the United States that was implemented in January.
The company had already been allowing workers to return to some offices voluntarily. But it had not yet brought back many amenities and had provided only limited options for services such as shuttles to offices.
Google said working from offices remains voluntary and about 30% of its employees in the Bay Area worked onsite last week. (Reporting by Akash Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Richard Pullin)