COVID-19 pushed millions of people to work from home earlier this year, but the ongoing outbreak in the United States has many companies rethinking their plans for re-opening. Today, a report from the Wall Street Journal reveals that Google will be keeping its employees at home through summer of 2021 due to COVID-19.
Google originally sent employees home early this year, but announced a goal to reopen offices by July 6th. That date, obviously, has come and gone with Google not having a concrete date for its employees to go back to its offices.
According to today’s report, Sundar Pichai himself made the decision to keep Googlers working from home until at least next July. This decision came after a debate with other Google Leads and Pichai was apparently “swayed” by sympathy for Googlers who may have to plan around having their children at home for the upcoming school year, without easy access to childcare and some which may need in-home instruction.
So far, the new timeline has apparently only been shared with a “small number of Google staffers,” but the change could be announced company-wide as soon as today. This would apply to “most of its major offices, including the headquarters of Mountain View, Calif., and other offices in the U.S., U.K., India, Brazil and elsewhere.”
Google will keep its employees home until at least next July, people familiar with the matter said, making the search-engine giant the first major U.S. corporation to formalize such an extended timetable in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
Alphabet Chief Executive Sundar Pichai made the decision himself last week after debate among Google Leads, an internal group of top executives that he chairs, according to a person familiar with the matter. A small number of Google staffers were notified later in the week, the people familiar said. 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.
Google had already announced that most employees could work remotely through the end of 2020 due to COVID-19, but this new summer 2021 announcement would push that back several more months for most employees.
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