Google Will Let Employees Work From Home Until Next Summer

by Julie Scagell
Google office building in Detroit, Michigan on September 27, 2019.
Raymond Boyd/Getty

The plan will allow Google employees to better plan for the upcoming year

Google has made an official announcement that they will let employees work from home until at least July 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic, which may help employees breathe a sigh of relief as lingering questions for working parents on when and if schools will reopen in the fall remain.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the search-engine giant Google is extending its current work-from-home policy until July 2021 — at the earliest. Their original plan was to let most employees work from home through the end of the year but the extension, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said, gives people a better opportunity to plan.

“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 in a statement. “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.”

While Google is the first major company to announce a set time for employees and contractors, it’s not the first to allow extended work-from-home policies. Back in May, SHRM identified a few larger companies with extended work-from-home policies including Facebook, Capital One, Amazon, and Microsoft.

The decision signals the company is in it for the long haul and, based on the current handling of the virus at a national level, doesn’t believe things will be changing for the better anytime soon. As of this morning, there are 4.1 million cases reported in the U.S. and almost 146,000 dead, according to the CDC. Positive cases continue to set records and the CDC warns that in the next four weeks, the U.S. will report more deaths than in the previous four weeks.

With schools continuing to decide how the upcoming school year will look — be it all in person, a hybrid approach, or all virtual learning — being able to count on working from home (for those whose jobs can actually be completed from home) is at least one piece of the puzzle put into place.

The decision will impact nearly all of the roughly 200,000 full-time and contract employees across Google parent Alphabet Inc., and the move may be one other tech companies follow in deciding how the future of work will look. It also shows a commitment to its employees that it values safety and science over a knee-jerk reaction to return to life as “normal.”

“We are still learning a lot from our experiences of working from home,” Pichai said, “and will use that knowledge to inform our approach to the future of work at Google.”

Information about COVID-19 is rapidly changing, and Scary Mommy is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. With news being updated so frequently, some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For this reason, we are encouraging readers to use online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization to remain as informed as possible.