Report: Google Employees Set to Work From Home Through Summer 2021

The decision comes from Alphabet Chief Executive Sundar Pichai

Google Office
Google's work from home policy is set to continue for longer than expected.
brionv/Creative Commons
By Tobias Carroll / July 27, 2020 12:01 pm

For many large companies, figuring out how best to deal with employees working from home during the pandemic includes a number of factors. Keeping people safe from possible COVID-19 infection is, for obvious reasons, an important factor in making work-from-home decisions. But there’s also a related decision that some companies need to make, which is to say: when do you ask employees to return to the office? For some companies, like Facebook, the answer to that question could mean that some employees will keep working from home indefinitely. And for another massive tech company, the timing of their employees’ return to the office is roughly a year away.

Today, The Wall Street Journal reports that Google’s employees will work from home through at least July of next year. Previously, Google’s offices were set to re-open in January of next year. The article, by Rob Copeland, notes that this decision will affect close to 200,000 workers. Copeland also speculates that this decision on Google’s part will prompt other large companies that had not announced a policy change to make similar moves.

Sundar Pichai, the Chief Executive of Alphabet, cited several factors in the decision, ranging from parental needs to potential relocations:

Mr. Pichai was swayed in part by sympathy for employees with families to plan for uncertain school years that may involve at-home instruction, depending on geography. It also frees staff to sign full-year leases elsewhere if they choose to move.

The Wall Street Journal article notes that Google offices have partially reopened in some countries where the pandemic response has been stronger, such as Thailand and Australia. For Google employees based in the United States, however, the work-from-home routine will continue for a while longer.

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