Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive, told employees on Thursday to be prepared to work remotely until October, possibly by the end of the year, according to people familiar with the matter. A Google spokesman confirmed that most of its employees are expected to be based on business by 2021. Mr. Pichai emailed employees two weeks ago to say some offices could open as early as June.
According to anonymous sources, Google employees were told this week that the time to resume work would vary from department to department and location, but most would not be able to work until at least the end of October.
Facebook also informed employees on Thursday that it could work remotely throughout 2020 if they wished. The social media giant expects to reopen most of its offices as early as July 6.
As the new corona virus pandemic continues to spread, U.S. states and businesses are struggling to find a way to restart it. California, where Google is headquartered, is allowing some companies to open at a limited time, including some manufacturing companies. Executives such as Tesla CEO Elon Musk have advocated a restart, but most tech leaders are more cautious. Google was one of the first Silicon Valley tech giants to close their offices in early March, and Mr Pichai said in an email in April that any possible resumption would be a step-by-step. Google employs more than 100,000 salaried employees and employs tens of thousands of contract workers.
Google said in March that it would pay wages and offer sick leave to contract workers affected by home orders, such as cafeteria employees, and planned to evaluate the decision “in the coming months.” A Google spokesman did not comment on the policy.