For the past few weeks, most Googlers have been working remotely in light of COVID-19. That policy’s end date has been extended several times now — most recently to June 1 — but Sundar Pichai told employees today that Google is likely to continue remote work for the rest of 2020.
According to The Information, the Google (and Alphabet) CEO told employees about this 2020 outlook during an all-hands meeting today. Googlers that are able to work from home will continue to do so, thus helping reduce the spread of coronavirus.
Pichai also revealed that offices will begin reopening in June or July for those that need to work on-site. When that occurs, there will be enhanced safety measures, while different office layouts are likely to make sure people are not in close contact.
Google started mandating remote work for offices in Asia before expanding to the Bay Area in early March, and later all of North America. Employees “critical to business continuity” are still working from sites, but the vast majority are not.
It comes as Facebook laid out a similar policy this morning for those that are able to work from home. Meanwhile, Google (via CNBC) this week told employees that they cannot expense food, fitness equipment, and home office furniture. This was in response to some Googlers wanting to repurpose unused budgets intended for travel and internal events.
“This includes sending snack boxes/gifts to Googlers or allowing teams to expense breakfast/lunch/dinner as part of virtual gatherings,” the company stated in the forum. “These policies help ensure reporting and tax compliance, as well as consistency and fairness for Googlers across teams.”
Others wanted to donate to relief efforts, but Google recommends employees use company-approved channels for donations.
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