Google employees whose work does not require them to be in the office can continue to work from home for nearly 12 more months, the search-engine giant announced Monday. Most Google employees began telecommuting when the coronavirus pandemic began early in 2020 and had planned to continue doing so through the end of 2020.
Google has reopened 42 of its offices around the world. But CNN reported Monday that Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote a memo to workers that said, "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. 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."
Amazon will allow its employees to continue working remotely through Jan. 8; it previously had said employees could work from home until Oct. 2. Twitter CEO Jay Dorsey told his employees in May that they would be allowed to work from home permanently after the lockdown ended. And Facebook said in May that many employees may continue to work remotely "forever," but their salaries likely would change to match the cost of living in the locales where they resided.
SHRM Online has collected the following stories from its archives and other resources about how COVID-19 has prompted organizations to switch to a work-from-home mode of operation.
Google to Keep Employees Home Until Summer 2021 Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
Google will keep its employees working at home until at least next July, making it the first major U.S. corporation to formalize such an extended timetable in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. The move will affect nearly all of the roughly 200,000 full-time and contract employees across Google parent company Alphabet Inc. Its decision is sure to influence other technology giants that have slated staff to return as soon as January.
(The Wall Street Journal)
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Tells Employees They Can Work from Home 'Forever'—Before You Celebrate, There's a Catch
Twitter's CEO informed his employees in May that they can continue working from home permanently, but he is keeping the door open for those who wish to work within the traditional office structure. The decision to work from home or at the office will be up to the employees. However, Dorsey cautioned, "When we do decide to open offices, it also won't be a snap back to the way it was before. It will be careful, intentional, office by office and gradual."
COVID-19 and Deciding Who Continues Working from Home
More employers are considering extending work-from-home options for employees through the fall, the end of the year or longer as coronavirus cases continue to surge in parts of the country. But how does an employer or supervisor decide who may continue working remotely and who should be at the organization's physical site?
Facebook Starts Planning for Permanent Remote Workers
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive officer, told workers during a May staff meeting that was livestreamed on his Facebook page that within a decade as many as half of the company's more than 48,000 employees would work from home. Starting in January, Facebook's employee compensation will be adjusted based on the cost of living in the locations where workers choose to live. Facebook will make sure employees are honest about their location by checking where they log in to internal systems from, he said.
(The New York Times)
Should Remote Workers Living in Lower-Cost Locations Be Paid Less?
With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and a growing number of companies allowing employees to continue to work from home indefinitely, a provocative new question has emerged: Should employees working from home in areas where the cost of living is lower be paid less than those working onsite?
What Does COVID-19 Mean for the Future of Work?
Over 16 million U.S. workers have transitioned to working from home, a new category of careers has been born under the title "essential workers," and the average American has now begun to stream online content for eight hours or more each day. It's safe to say that the traditional definition of office life has been put to rest. Now we are all left to wonder what will replace it.
More resources from SHRM Online:
How to Handle More Work-from-Home Requests
Many Professionals Dread Returning to the Office