Google employees won’t return to their offices until July 2021 at the earliest, a rep for the company told TheWrap on Monday morning.
The news was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. The decision was made last week by Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, according to the report. Pichai’s call impacts about 200,000 Google employees and contractors around the world; it also marks the point furthest down the line that a tech giant plans on having employees work from home due to the coroanvirus pandemic, with most other Silicon Valley companies looking for some return to normalcy by early 2021.
“I know it hasn’t been easy,” Pichai said in a note to employees on Monday. “I hope this will offer the flexibility you need to balance work with taking care of yourselves and your loved ones over the next 12 months.”
While Google doesn’t expect to have employees back at its Mountain View, California headquarters and other offices by mid-2021, other tech companies have made similar decisions to limit large gatherings in the last few months. Most notably, Facebook not only canceled its 2020 F8 developer conference, which was set for early May, but canceled next year’s as well. In May, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he could see having half of Facebook’s employees working from home within the next 5-10 years.