Google became the first huge U.S. company to commit to the year-long work from home plan. Google previously said that the most employees would be working from home through the end of the year, but today it was announced that the company extended the remote work policy until the next summer. Many tech companies have announced that the most of the employees will work from home until the end of 2020.
Google will keep its employees home until at least next July, making the search-engine giant the first major U.S. corporation to formalize such an extended timetable in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. The move will affect nearly all of the roughly 200,000 full-time and contract employees across Google parent Alphabet Inc., and is sure to pressure other technology giants that have slated staff to return as soon as January, The Wall Street Journal reported.
In a memo to employees, a copy of which was obtained by CNN Business, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company has reopened 42 offices around the world. "To give employees the ability to plan ahead, we'll be extending our global voluntary work from home option through June 30, 2021 for roles that don't need to be in the office," Pichai wrote. "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," CNN Business wrote.
In the previous announcement made in May of 2020, Sundar Pichai said that, there are a limited number of Googlers whose roles are needed back in office this calendar year and for everyone else, returning to the office will be voluntary through the end of the year.
Also, Google promised to give each Googler an allowance of $1,000 USD, or the equivalent value in their countries, to expense necessary equipment and office furniture, as most Googlers would be largely working from home.
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, Apple and Facebook have asked that workers return in January. Twitter has allowed employees to work from home “forever” if they wish. The conservative move from Google could push its tech peers to follow suit. The development comes as states continue to see outbreaks of the deadly virus. As of Monday, the United States has reported more than 4.2 million cases, with at least 146,900 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, CNBC wrote.
The social distancing measures that have recently been introduced due to the coronavirus pandemic, have forced many people to work from home; for many of them this will be the first time that they have had to do so. However, how common was working from home before these measures came into force? In 2019, 5.4% of employed persons in the European Union (EU) who were aged 15-64, usually worked from home. This share has remained constant at around 5% throughout the last decade. However, over the same period, the share of those who sometimes worked from home has been rising: from 6.0% in 2009 to 9.0% in 2019.
There are different trends reflected according to the age and sex of workers, when it comes to home-working. In 2019, a slightly higher share of women reported that they usually worked from home than men (5.7% compared with 5.2%). Furthermore, persons in the older age groups were more likely to work from home: 6.6% of those aged between 50-64 years old usually worked from home, as did 5.2% of persons aged between 25-49. Read more.