Google reportedly plans to extend remote work orders for its roughly 200,000 employees until summer 2021, adding to a growing list of businesses and enterprises adopting long term work-from-home policies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Google chief executive Sundar Pichai told employees on Monday that the company would allow remote work to continue until at least next July due to continued uncertainty surrounding coronavirus outbreaks in cities across the globe.
The goal of the ongoing policy is to reduce the density of people in Google's offices and help slow down the spread of the virus. The remote work extension is also tied to the challenges faced by working parents and uncertain return to school plans for their children.
The shift to long term remote work policies has dramatically changed the vision for the future of work. The technology industry has also served as a barometer for work-from-home orders since the start of the global pandemic.
Google advised all of its nearly 100,000 North American employees to work from home beginning in early March. Apple, too, implemented remote work policies in March. Twitter, Facebook, Square, Microsoft and Amazon have also implemented and extended work-from-home policies for employees, with some companies allowing remote work to continue indefinitely.
In May, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the social media company will allow permanent remote work for many of its existing employees and "aggressively open up" remote hiring. E-commerce software giant Shopify also announced in May that it would become a "digital by default" company, with most of its employees permanently working remote.