Google will allow its staff to work from home if they want, until at least July 2021, the search engine giant has revealed.
The move comes as the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic continues to rage in certain countries, after most of the world entered a global lockdown in March this year, with many tech firms ordering all non-essential staff to work from home, including Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook.
Countries such as the United States, Brazil, South Africa and India have reported ongoing rises in infections, and countries such as Spain and France are also reporting a surge in new cases.
At the start of this month Google said it had delayed the re-opening of its US offices.
Google had initially planned to re-open its US offices on 1 June, but then in late May said it would reopen US offices from 6 July, but only at approximately 10 percent of their capacity in order to maintain social distancing.
It said it would increase this to 30 percent in September, if conditions permitted.
However Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai has previously indicated he would allow staff, if they wish, to continue to work remotely through the rest of this year.
And now Google has extended this year-end limit for home working until the summer of 2021, with the firm letting staff work from home until at least July 2021, a company spokesperson was quoted by CNN as saying on Monday.
The extension of the remote work policy indicates that Google is preparing or a long pandemic.
It is likely that other big name tech firms and other large businesses may follow suit.
“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,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in an internal memo to employees, seen by CNN Business.
He said that the firm had already reopened 42 offices around the world.
“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,” said Pichai.
As the global lockdowns began, Google gave its staff $1,000 to expense necessary equipment and office furniture, to assist them in working from home.
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