Google has announced that it will extend its coronavirus work from home order to through June 2021. Earlier employees were expected to join back office in January 2021.
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, in an email to employees shares, “To give employees the ability to plan ahead, 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," said Pichai.
The move makes the tech giant the first major U.S. corporation to set such an extended timeline. Google appears to be bracing itself for a long pandemic and that could prompt other businesses to follow suit. The decision is said to impact most of the company’s roughly 200,000 full-time and contract employees.
Most tech companies have announced that the bulk of employees can work from home until the end of 2020, or haven’t finalized a timeline. Amazon and Apple have asked that workers return in January. Twitter has allowed employees to work from home “forever” if they wish.
Facebook, like Google, is taking a more long-term approach to how and when employees return to work. In May, CEO Zuckerberg said Facebook would start allowing many of its 50,000 employees to begin working from home on a permanent basis. Within the next five to ten years, Zuckerberg said he expects about 50 percent of Facebook’s workforce to work remotely.