Both Facebook and Google have announced plans to reopen their offices soon, but they will allow more employees to continue working from home to allow flexibility. Google had initially said that it would keep the work from home policy until first June, but now the policy will run for seven more months.
Facebook said that it would start reopening offices from July 6, 2020, as COVID-19 lockdowns are gradually lifted.
Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive, said that employees who require offices would be able to return from this July with enhanced safety measures in place. But most of the employees who can carry out their jobs from home will continue to do so until the end of 2020, added Mr Pichai.
This announcement coincides with the one from Facebook as more companies start rolling out strategies to get back to work.
“Facebook has taken the next step in its return to work philosophy. Today, we announced anyone who can do their work remotely could choose to do so through the end of the year,” Facebook’s spokesman said. “As you can imagine, this is an evolving situation as employees and their families make important decisions return to work.”
Facebook has not yet determined the employees who will be asked to come in, added the spokesperson. The social media giant was among the first companies to ask its employees to work from home. It gave its employees US$1,000 bonuses for their work-from-home, plus childcare costs.
The trend of working remotely may suit some companies while they continue to redesign their offices to cater for the social distancing rules. Some employees are still nervous about returning to work during this pandemic, though.