Most of Google’s workforce will not be returning to the office anytime before the summer of 2021 because of concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report.
Google and parent company Alphabet will require their roughly 200,000 employees to work from home until July 2021, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing anonymous sources. Previously, Google had told employees to expect to WFH through at least the end of 2020.
Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Per the WSJ report, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai made the call to keep Google’s offices closed through next summer after deliberations with senior executives at the company. Google notified a “small number” of employees of the new extended work-from-home policy last week.
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,” the Journal reported.
Google previously had begun a phased reopening of offices last month, with plans calling for 10%-15% of staffers allowed to be in any one location.
In May, Twitter became one of the first companies to announced that employees will be able to work from home for good, if they choose to and if their roles permit.
Meanwhile, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg this spring said many of the social giant’s employees will be allowed to work from home permanently even after the coronavirus crisis ends. He projected that around 50% of the company’s workforce could be remote in the next 5-10 years.
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