Google employees can now continue to work from home through July 2021 as Google is the first major tech company to keep its staff home until the following year amid the coronavirus pandemic. The search-engine giant’s CEO Sundar Pichai announced the news in an internal memo to workers via email on Monday to “give employees the ability to plan ahead.”
Google was one of the first companies to adapt work-from-home in early March to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 when the pandemic began.
“We are extending our global voluntary work from home option through June 30, 2021 for roles that don’t need to be in the office. 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,” Sundar Pichai wrote in a memo.
Alphabet’s 200,000 full-time and contract employees from headquarters in California, as well as major offices in other countries, will not return to the offices until summer 2021 because of the increased number of COVID-19 cases and high mortality rates throughout the country and the fact that the vaccine is not available for now.
The company expected most employees to return to offices by the end of 2020 and even reopened some offices in places less affected by the pandemic, including smaller offices in Greece and Australia. However, the continuing pandemic makes companies change their plans and decisions on the go.
Google’s move illustrates how corporate America deals with the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and adapts to the new way of living and working.
Microsoft will let employees work from home until October this year as well. In May, Twitter announced that its personnel can work from home forever, and Square announced plans to allow workers to continue working remotely indefinitely as well. Facebook is another giant company to let its 48,000 employees form remotely until the end of 2020, though Mark Zuckerberg expects half of them to permanently switch to working from home in the following decades. Amazon employees will also work out of offices through 2020.