Why it matters: After several months of dealing with the Covid-19 crisis, Google has made the unsurprising decision to extend its current employee work-from-home policy. While early versions of this policy were expected to expire as soon as last month for North American workers, Covid-19’s continued spread has forced Google to alter its plans.
Moving forward, the search behemoth’s employees will be working remotely through the remainder of 2020. This announcement came from Google CEO Sundar Pichai during an “all hands” meeting yesterday, according to a report from The Information.
This move will likely have a significant impact on Google’s operations over time, but it’s certainly the appropriate path forward. Given how many people Google employs, one could argue that the company has an inherent responsibility to play a role in curbing the spread of Covid-19.
Of course, the decision is also a win-win for the tech firm either way. Should Covid-19 resolve itself (or at least become a less serious threat) before 2021 kicks off, nothing is stopping the company from backtracking. Of course, if the opposite occurs, and the coronavirus situation only gets worse over the holidays, the new end date is far enough off that Google could easily extend its timeline if necessary.
During his announcement, Pichai informed workers that some could be allowed back into the office in June or July, but only if their job requires their physical presence. Examples were not given, but we suspect Google is referring to maintenance workers or those in similar roles.
Regardless, even for those workers, the in-office experience will not be business as usual. Google is reportedly planning to implement strict Covid-19 protection measures across its campuses locations, though we’re unsure what those measures will be.
For everyone’s sake, we hope that Google’s announcement will prove unnecessary down the line, but only time will tell.
Middle image credit: Drazen Zigic