Forward-looking: Google is exploring the possibility of letting some of its employees work from home part time once it is safe for everyone to return to the office. The idea is to strike a balance between productivity, collaboration and safety. Is this the future of business?

In an e-mail to employees on Sunday seen by The New York Times, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai said they were testing the idea of a hybrid work week in which employees would be expected to come into the office three days a week and work from home the two remaining days.

"We are testing a hypothesis that a flexible work model will lead to greater productivity, collaboration, and well-being," Pichai said. He added that no company at their scale has ever created a fully hybrid work force model, although some are starting to test it. "It will be interesting to try," the executive added.

Google now expects to start bringing staffers back into the office in September 2021.

Pichai didn't touch on the Covid-19 vaccine in his message. A spokesperson for Google told The Times that Google recommends employees obtain the vaccine whenever their health care professional or local public health authority says it is available to them.

Google was among the first major tech giants to send its employees home to work as the coronavirus ramped up. Others quickly followed, with some like Twitter shifting to an indefinite work-at-home model. Still others, including Netflix, are anxious to get back together in person.

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