- Google has advised all of its employees in North America to work remotely in response to coronavirus concerns, the company confirmed to Business Insider.
- Google had previously instructed workers at its offices in the San Francisco Bay Area, Dublin, and Seattle to avoid going into the office.
- The majority of Google’s 100,000-plus worldwide employees are based in North America, and the policy change represents one of the most sweeping remote-work orders in response to the outbreak.
- The company is the latest in a string of tech giants, including Apple and Microsoft, to advise its employees to avoid going into the office.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Google is recommending that all of its tens of thousands of North American employees work from home in its latest move to try and protect its employees from the growing coronavirus outbreak.
On Tuesday, the Silicon Valley-based search giant sent out a memo to its employees informing them that it was changing its policies to recommend all workers who are able to work remotely do so until at least April 10, sources familiar with the matter said. A Google spokesperson confirmed the order via email.
The majority of Google’s 100,000-plus employees work in North America, and the policy change represents one of the most sweeping remote-work orders of any company in response to the outbreak of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. (Google’s offices will remain open to accommodate those workers who are able to do their roles only from the office.)
COVID-19 has sickened more than 113,000 people and killed nearly 4,000, and it is causing mounting disruption around the globe – disrupting supply chains and forcing the closure of corporate offices and major events.
Many major US tech companies have instituted remote-work policies for at least some of their employees, including Apple and Facebook. Industry events including Mobile World Congress, Facebook’s F8, and Google I/O have been cancelled, and on Friday, the South by Southwest tech and culture festival in Austin, Texas, was also cancelled.
Google previously gave its employees in the San Francisco Bay Area, where it is headquartered, the option of working from home. Last week, it also barred all of its employees from travelling internationally after an employee in its Zurich office tested positive for the coronavirus.
Google has said it will compensate hourly contract workers for the hours they would have worked if it weren’t for the coronavirus and also created a fund to pay sick leave for contract workers or vendors who can’t come into work.
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