Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai emailed employees Monday to announce the plan
Google plans to keep 200,000 full-time and contract employees working remotely until at least July 2021, The Wall Street Journal reported. Other tech firms have announced long-term plans to keep employees working from home due to restrictions from the coronavirus pandemic, but Google would be the first to extend remote working into the middle of next year.
According to the WSJ, Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google parent company Alphabet, made the call last week following a meeting with top company executives. A Google spokesperson told The Verge that Pichai sent an email to employees this morning announcing the plan: “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.”
Google had previously announced plans to reopen some offices for a limited number of employees starting on July 6th, but it made the return to physical offices optional. Pichai made the decision to establish a more specific time frame for remote working in part to give Google employees with families more certainty about how long they would be working from home, as many are struggling with inconsistent direction from school districts, the WSJ reported.
Facebook, Twitter, and Square have already announced plans to allow workers to continue working remotely indefinitely.
Twitter will now let its employees work from home indefinitely, which was first reported by BuzzFeed News. CEO Jack Dorsey reportedly informed employees of the new policy in an email sent on Tuesday.
“If our employees are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, we will make that happen,” a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement to The Verge. “If not, our offices will be their warm and welcoming selves, with some additional precautions, when we feel it’s safe to return.”
The spokesperson also shared the following information about the company’s reopening plans and how it is thinking about business travel and events this year:
Opening offices will be our decision, when and if our employees come back, will be theirs.
With very few exceptions, offices won’t open before September. When we do decide to open offices, it also won’t be a snap back to the way it was before. It will be careful, intentional, office by office and gradual.
There will also be no business travel before September, with very few exceptions, and no in-person company events for the rest of 2020. We will assess 2021 events later this year.
Twitter’s employees have already been working from home since March 12th when the company ordered all employees to work out of their homes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.