Facebook and Google extend working from home to end of year

Facebook and Google extend working from home to end of year
  • Facebook and Google have said they will let employees continue working from home for the rest of the year

 The tech giants have announced plans to reopen their offices soon but are allowing more home working flexibility.

Google originally said it would keep its work from home policy until 1 June, but is extending it for seven more months.

Facebook said it would reopen its offices on 6 July as coronavirus lockdowns are gradually lifted.

Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said that employees who need to return to the office will start being able to do so from July with enhanced safety measures in place.

But the majority of employees who can carry out their jobs from home will be able to do so until the end of the year, Mr Pichai added.

The announcement coincides with Facebook's as more companies start rolling out their back-to-work strategies.

"Facebook has taken the next step in its return to work philosophy. Today, we announced anyone who can do their work remotely can choose to do so through the end of the year," a spokesman said. "As you can imagine this is an evolving situation as employees and their families make important decisions to return to work."

Facebook is still determining which employees will be asked to come in, the spokeswoman added.

The social media platform was among the first tech firms to ask its employees to begin working remotely. Facebook gave employees $1,000 (£807) bonuses for their work-from-home and childcare costs.

The trend for working from home may suit some companies while they redesign their office spaces to cater to new social distancing guidelines. 

Will Work ever be the same?

Some employees are nervous about returning to work in the middle of a global pandemic.

Remote working was gaining currency before the crisis, but the pandemic has shown that telecommuting is here to stay. A recent Gartner CFO survey revealed that almost three in four CFOs plan to “shift at least 5 percent of previously on-site employees to permanently remote positions post-COVID-19.”

Companies also face a learning curve as managers figure out how to lead their teams virtually as they build social capital and how to maintain cohesion without the benefit of informal coffee, lunch, or corridor chats. As companies contemplate returning to the workplace, a new set of skills is also likely to emerge for the transition.

COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of fully digitized approaches to re-create the best of in-person learning through live video and social sharing.- mckinsey

The crisis has accelerated the levels of digitization to help reduce avoidable physical interactions. This has meant finding ways to reinvent work and, in some cases, a partial disruption of jobs and changes in the way workers perform them.