Google plans to keep 200,000 full-time and contract employees working remotely until at least July 2021, The Wall Street Journal reported. Other tech firms have announced long-term plans to keep employees working from home due to restrictions from the coronavirus pandemic, but Google would be the first to extend remote working into the middle of next year.
According to the WSJ, Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google parent company Alphabet, made the call last week following a meeting with top company executives.
Google had previously announced plans to reopen some offices for a limited number of employees starting on July 6th, but it made the return to physical offices optional. Pichai made the decision to establish a more specific time frame for remote working in part to give Google employees with families more certainty about how long they would be working from home, as many are struggling with inconsistent direction from school districts, the WSJ reported.
Facebook, Twitter, and Square have already announced plans to allow workers to continue working remotely indefinitely.
Google did not immediately return a request for comment on Monday.