Coronavirus: Facebook and Google extend working from home to 2021

·2-min read
Google and Facebook employees have been told they can stay at home until 2021 (Getty)
Google and Facebook employees have been told they can stay at home until 2021 (Getty)

Tech giants Facebook (FB) and Google (GOOG) have told employees they do not have to return to work in the office until 2021.

The moves mean employees can continue working from home for the rest of the year amid worries from staff over safety about returning to the office during the coronavirus pandemic.

A spokesman for Facebook said: “Facebook has taken the next step in its return to work philosophy. Today, we announced anyone who can do their work remotely can choose to do so through the end of the year.

“As you can imagine this is an evolving situation as employees and their families make important decisions about returning to work.”

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Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said that employees who need to return to the office will start being able to do so from July with enhanced safety measures in place.

But the majority of employees who can carry out their jobs from home can do so until the end of the year, he added.

Both Google and Facebook employees were advised to start working from home in March.

At the time Facebook gave employees $1,000 (£807) bonuses for their work-from-home and childcare costs. Google only recently asked employees to take a day off on 22 May, to address work-from-home-related burnout during the coronavirus pandemic. Pichai announced the move in a memo to employees on late Thursday.

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Companies could ask employees to stay at home and work for longer as they redesign their office spaces to cater to new social distancing guidelines.

Some employees are nervous about returning to work in the middle of a global pandemic. Deaths in zones like New York City have come down, but there are many new outbreaks across the country.

Other tech giants have not been so generous. Amazon (AMZN) has extended its work from home policy until October as has Microsoft (MSFT). Slack (WORK) employees can work from home through to September.

The moves come as President Donald Trump has said “we have to get our country open again,” but much of corporate America appears in no rush.

Outside of the tech sector credit card company Capital One (COF) told its 40,000 workers that they will be out until September and possibly longer.