- As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Google is extending its voluntary telework policy. Employees can work remotely until July 2021.
- "To give employees the ability to plan ahead, we are extending our global voluntary work from home option through June 30, 2021 for roles that don't need to be in the office," Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced in an email sent to staff July 27, a Google spokesperson confirmed in an email to HR Dive. The tech company advised March 12 that all employees in North America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East work from home.
- Pichai said in a May blog post he expected employees would be "largely working from home" for the rest of 2020. "We'll be giving each Googler an allowance of $1,000 USD, or the equivalent value in your country, to expense necessary equipment and office furniture," he also said.
Other major tech companies have also decided to expand work from home options to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
"We've kicked the time period that U.S. employees would come back until early next year," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an interview with Bloomberg TV July 30. "To go beyond that, it would depend on the success with a vaccine, success with therapeutics" and local conditions, Cook said.
Meanwhile, almost all of Facebook's employees are working from home amid the pandemic. CEO Mark Zuckerberg suggested in a May 21 town hall that in the next five to 10 years half of its workforce could be working from home. Due to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in areas across the U.S., "there's currently no end in sight for when our teams here will be able to return to our offices," Zuckerberg said in a July 30 call with analysts about Facebook's second-quarter results, CNBC reported.
Almost half of the organizations represented in a survey of HR leaders said 81% or more of their employees were working remotely, according to a Gartner report published April 14. Prior to the pandemic, 30% of employees worked remotely at least part of the time, and 41% said in the future they are likely to work remotely, at least some of the time, according to the report.
Research also shows that many HR professionals prefer to work from home themselves. More than half (55%) of the 17,650 professionals surveyed in different industries said they would choose to work remotely, according to a Fishbowl survey released May 26.