- Google will ask its UK and EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) workforce to work from home starting Thursday.
- This is an expansion of Google’s policy for its employees in North America, who have been given the same advice.
- Silicon Valley giants including Facebook, Amazon, and Twitter have also recommended their employees work from home.
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Google is stepping up its measures against the coronavirus outbreak.
The tech giant will recommend that its workers across the UK, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa work from home starting on Thursday March 12, Business Insider has learned.
This comes a week after Google advised US workers in its Washington state and California offices to work from home, as well as those in its 8,000-strong Dublin office in Ireland. Google then widened that to all 11 of its offices in North America. Google has around 100,000 employees in total, most of whom are based in North America.
Google has yet to report any confirmed cases of the virus in its US staff, but a worker in its Zurich office tested positive at the end of February. A Dublin worker also reported flu-like symptoms, but tested negative for COVID-19. The tech giant also announced last week that it was suspending in-person job interviews.
Other Silicon Valley companies have implemented similar remote-work measures: Facebook, Amazon, and Twitter have all asked staff in their California and Seattle offices to work from home. Amazon and Facebook have both seen a confirmed case each among their Seattle workforce. In the meantime, major tech 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. Gaming event E3 looks set to be nixed too.
According to John Hopkins University, there are 121,000 global confirmed cases of coronavirus and the death toll has climbed above 4,000. The majority of cases are in mainland China where the virus originated.
Talk to the reporter behind this story, Isobel Asher Hamilton, at [email protected]