Google Announces Plans For Employees To Work From Home Until July 2021

Screengrab / Cheryll / YouTube

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Sundar Pichai made the announcement last week, making Google the first major US corporation to make an extended plan.

Google has announced plans to keep all of their employees at home until at least next July, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, announced the decision last week. His decision was influenced by his sympathy for employees with families who may be uncertain about their children’s school plans, some of which may include at-home learning.

“I know it hasn’t been easy,” Pichai wrote in a note to staff. “I hope this will offer the flexibility you need to balance work with taking care of yourselves and your loved ones over the next 12 months.”

The move will affect nearly all of the near 200,000 full-time and contract employees at Google parent company Alphabet, including employees in the US, UK, India, Brazil, and elsewhere.

Originally, Google had planned for employees to return to work in the beginning of next year. Some smaller Google offices in Australia, Greece, and Thailand have partially opened already.

The new decision makes Google the first major US corporation to formalize an extended plan regarding the pandemic.

The move also allows staff to sign full-year leases elsewhere should they decide to move. Some employees in the San Francisco Bay Area are considered alternate living arrangements as the metropolitan area is becoming too expensive.

“We are still learning a lot from our experiences of working from home and will use that knowledge to inform our approach to the future of work at Google,” Pichai said.

Pichai became interested in learning about the ramifications even before it was declared a global pandemic. He began reading research papers on it in January and was at the forefront of major companies’ decision to close offices in March.

Other companies have released shorter time-frames for at-home work or less structured plans. Microsoft plans for their employees to begin returning this fall. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says that he expects half of their employees to work from home in the next decade.

Read the full report here.

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