Google to begin reopening offices in July
27 May 2020, 09:54
The technology giant has said new health and safety measures will be in place to support social distancing.
Google has announced plans to begin the phased reopening of offices around the world from July, the tech giant’s chief executive has said.
In an email sent to staff, Google boss Sundar Pichai said city-based offices will begin to open to some members of staff from July 6.
He said phased reopening will allow Google staff to return on a “limited, rotating basis”, for example, one day every two weeks, with offices reaching around 10% occupancy.
The technology giant began urging staff to work from home in March as the coronavirus outbreak spread around the world.
In order to prevent any spread of the virus as workers returned to offices, Mr Pichai said Google would have “rigorous health and safety measures in place to ensure social distancing and sanitisation guidelines are followed”.
“Our goal is to be fair in the way we allocate time in the office, while limiting the number of people who come in, consistent with safety protocols,” he said.
Mr Pichai said that should the initial openings be successful, Google will look to increase office occupancy to 30% in September, but added that the majority of staff will be encouraged to continue working from home.
“There are a limited number of Googlers whose roles are needed back in office this calendar year,” he said.
“If this applies to you, your manager will let you know by June 10. For everyone else, returning to the office will be voluntary through the end of the year, and we encourage you to continue to work from home if you can.”
The company also confirmed it will give each employee an allowance of 1,000 US dollars or the equivalent value in their country of work to expense necessary equipment and office furniture.
Mr Pichai also said the technology giant was looking into how to “develop more overall flexibility” in the way staff work and allowing more remote working in the future.