Google has told thousands of its employees in North America to work from home amid coronavirus fears.
According to a new report from CNN, Google has issued one of the most sweeping cautionary edicts, recommending on Tuesday that all its employees in North America work from home until at least April 10 amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The move comes as tech companies hope to limit the spread of the COVID-19 both among their employees and the community at large. Apple, Amazon, Cisco, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft, Twitter and others have also encouraged employees to work from home, albeit in most cases not as broadly as Google.
The Mountain View-based tech behemoth also confirmed that similar guidance is given to other regions. Meanwhile, Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai also asked people to maintain “social distancing” if they can to overall help the community to curb the spread of coronavirus.
“Contributing to social distancing if you are able to, helps the overall community spread and most importantly, will help offset the peak loads through critical healthcare systems and also saves it for people in need,” Pichai tweeted.
Google and other big tech firms have also said they will compensate workers affected by office schedule reductions, with Google also announcing on March 10 that it was starting a fund to provide paid sick leave to workers for contract companies that do not yet have it. The company’s offices will remain open for staff that cannot perform their duties remotely, explains the report.
For years, experts have been predicting that telecommuting was the way of the future, providing an opportunity for companies to cut cost and increase morale. After the health crisis passes, it will be interesting to see if the workforce returns to normal, or if work-from-home options become the new normal.