Google’s 200k employees to work from home until July 2021

Marco Green
August 13, 2020

Now, chief executive Sundar Pichai has told staff that they will have the option to work from home until at least the end of June 2021. The move will affect almost all of the roughly 200,000 full-time and contract employees across Google parent Alphabet Inc., and is sure to pressure other technology giants that have slated staff to return as soon as January, The Wall Street Journal reported. It marks a six-month extension of Google's previous plan to keep most of its offices closed through the rest of this year. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the Journal reported that the move took into consideration the situations faced by Google employees with families and those employees who choose to move and may need to sign year-long lease agreements. MeriTalk obtained a portion of Pichai's email to employees from a Google spokesperson.

Google's policy positions the company as among the more cautious tech companies in terms of planning timelines.

Earlier this year, several tech giants announced that they would allow most or all of its employees to continue working from home at least through the end of 2020.

Google has decided that most of its 200,000 employees and contractors should work from home through next June, a sobering assessment of the pandemic's potential staying power from the company providing the answers for the world's most trusted internet search engine.

"We and a lot of other folks were very anxious that productivity was going to really fall off a cliff", Zuckerberg said in May. Zuckerberg estimated that roughly half of Facebook's workforce would eventually switch to permanent remote work.

When the coronavirus first hit the US this year, tech companies were among the first employers to move to remote work and to cancel big events.

Google had originally planned to allow a significant number of employees to begin returning to its Mountain View, California, headquarters and other offices during the summer. Bloomberg reported in May that Apple, meanwhile, was planning to bring employees back to its offices in phases.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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