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A man walks past an Alphabet Inc Google logo outside an office building in Zurich, Switzerland on July 1, 2020. REUTERS / Arnd Wiegmann

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December 2 (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O) said on Thursday it was indefinitely pushing back its plan to return to the January office in Europe, the Middle East and Africa over concerns over the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

In August, Google extended its voluntary return to work policy until January 10, after which it said it would allow countries and locations to decide when to end voluntary work at home based on local conditions. . Read more

Matt Brittin, Google president for the EMEA region, told employees on Thursday that the company will be pushing the deadline beyond that date. Insider first reported the news.

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Google said Brittin’s post was in line with its earlier predictions that a return to the workplace wouldn’t begin until January 10.

Employees in the United States and North America have yet to receive any direction regarding changes to return-to-office 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 on Thursday. Read more

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Report by Deborah Sophia in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Richard Pullin

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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