Google announces it will keep its workers at home until at least next summer

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My company told us our offices wouldn’t reopen until January at the earliest, and that even after the office reopens, any folks in my department that want to just continue working from home can do so indefinitely.


That actually makes sense. They’ve been doing OK so far.


But what’s Google going to do when Covid-20 hits?


What does Google- the collector and analyzer of all the world’s information- know that we don’t know…


If Google is saying this now, it’s a message to all of us that we shouldn’t expect a return to workplace normalcy for the next year. Buckle in.


What is it that you don’t know? It doesn’t really take special insight or secret knowledge to see that this is unlikely to be over soon.

Note that what this announcement says is that most employees worldwide can choose to work from home until at least next july regardless of what happens – some offices may open but most people will still be able to stay home if the want to. This lets people make housing, childcare, and schooling decisions now, or continue to stay home if they feel their personal risk profile warrants it even in areas that are doing a better job than the US at fighting this (i.e., almost everywhere).


Good for Google. I hope more businesses take note and make this a permanent feature for as many employees as want it and can handle it. It will open up more jobs to more applicants because you won’t be tied to commuting distance, reduce traffic and the negative effects that come with that, and will help push broadband improvements.


An internal survey of my employer’s bigtech workforce found employee preference to have offices closed has increased since a similar survey was taken during virus peak in April. Now that we’ve made the switch to remote-first work, I think the arguments for aggressive return to face-to-face fall apart.

My org hasn’t released any similar timeline to Google, but the overall message is the same: we’re at home for a long time.


They know that their engineers have the choice to work somewhere that will keep them alive. It isn’t safe for any of these companies to be open, and we all know it, but their engineers have the leverage to protect themselves.


Sorry, was trying to make a joke about Google’s presence in our lives with a bit of a tongue in cheek laugh at conspiracy theorists. Did not translate, I guess.


i got you at least.

the federal government still doesn’t have a mask mandate, is still planning on opening schools, and is still pushing quack science. obviously someone continues to live in a bunker and it isn’t you. ( i laugh. i cry. )

my own mother has decided to come out of retirement to teach again, in person, to prove some sort of point. i wish something like this google thing would get her to change her mind. nothing else seems to be working.


Yeah, my company has most of us working from home until the end of the year. Our big office/warehouse in LA has two employees on site: the shipping/warehouse person and the VP.

Only one employee has been infected and she got it while taking care of her sick daughter. She said she had been super careful and used PPE.


I’m so sorry to hear this. I applaud her desire to help out, but I think now is not the time. There are so many unknowns.


I really wouldn’t be surprised if they found they got more work out of the engineers working from home. I wouldn’t be surprised if they figured out that they would save a ton on electricity, space etc, if more workers continued to work from home. I wouldn’t be surprised if Google actually plays money ball with this kind of thing rather than just needing the boss’s emotional security of having people around so that you can tell them what to do in person.


At my day job, we have an uptick in the amount of work done on tickets since having the engineering team work from home. We’ve actually been using this to justify NOT going back into the office too soon because no one wants to take that risk right now despite a mandate from corp to return on alternating days.

However, there’s a side-effect to this policy - the onus is now on individual team members to make sure they have enough space to work effectively, while the company, in theory, could save money by closing the office if they so chose. While sure, the employees save on commute cost and (in theory) lunch costs, there’s still a burden shift there, and, like with almost everything else, it isn’t evenly distributed depending on your job.


Also, I know that I and my coworkers have been working longer hours. Routine 10 to 12 hour days. So, we’re working during the time we’d be commuting. Good for the bottom line.


It’s not only going to be commercial real estate that’s going to be impacted by this turbocharging of the remote-work trend. There are a whole lot of those “what does that guy actually do here?” middle managers and de facto guard labour in corporate America. They could work 20 hours a day but, without a captive audience in the office for meetings and other hoop-jumping, these Lumberghs are going to exposed for the no-value-added cost centres that they are.

The American HR Culture has always been the main barrier to remote work because it exalts these time-servers and personality cultists and petty dictators. Any change to the workplace that reduces its influence is a welcome one.


We’re on a low capacity schedule here at my employer. 1 week on site, then 4 weeks WFH. They keep hoping to drag us all back in but the numbers keep looking worse. And the owners are old farts so I think they’re scared of dying which is good cause I don’t wanna die too.


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