Google is to allow employees to work from home until July 2021, delaying a return to the office originally slated for the end of this year, people familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal, as the coronavirus pandemic shows little sign of letting up.
CEO Sundar Pichai decided to extend the policy last week, following an internal discussion among the company’s leadership, WSJ reports.
Google had originally planned to reopen offices around the world from last month for some employees, with most staffers not expected to return until the end of 2020.
The move will affect almost 200,000 employees, both full time and contract, according to the WSJ.
As the coronavirus pandemic became more severe in the U.S., tech giants, were some of the first to implement work from home policies as early as March. Employees at Amazon were originally told to work from home until October 2, which was later extended to January 2 next year.
Microsoft employees could be among the first to return to the office with a planned reopening in October. But as infections regain an upward trend in at least 30 states, including California, hospitalizations and deaths are also on the up. As a result, Google may end up being one of many major companies to extend their work from home policy beyond January.