Tech

Google relaxes remote work plan, will let 20% of employees telecommute

Key Points
  • Google is relaxing its approach to the return to work in permitting some employees to permanently work from home.
  • The company will now allow employees to work from other locations for a longer period each year.

In this article

Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Google

Google on Wednesday said it now expects 20% of its employees to work from home after its offices reopen later this year.

The company, which owns extensive Silicon Valley real estate, had previously taken a more strict approach to the return to work as the Covid pandemic has forced companies to close offices and have employees telecommute. Now, as some technology workers see other employers offering greater flexibility, Google is relaxing its approach.

In December the company announced a plan to have workers spend three days a week in the office.

Now, Google expects that 60% of its employees will be on site for a few days a week, with 20% working in new office locations and 20% working from home, Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in an email to employees, noting that most employees would like to be on campus sometimes.

"Before the pandemic, we had thousands of people working in locations separate from their core teams. I fully expect those numbers to increase in the coming months as we develop more remote roles, including fully all-remote sub teams," Pichai wrote.

In June Google will tell employees more about how they can request to permanently work from home or work from different offices, Pichai wrote. The company will adjust people's pay in either scenario.

Any given Google employee can now temporarily work for four weeks per year from a location other than their assigned office, an increase from two weeks, Pichai wrote. Some employees might need to be at their facilities more than three days per week because of their roles, he wrote.

Employees can keep working from home through September, a spokesperson told CNBC in an email.

Google's temps, vendors and contractors -- nearly half of the company's workforce as of 2018, according to the Guardian -- will probably be in the office on the same days as their teams, the spokesperson wrote.

Several smaller companies, including Atlassian and Square, have agreed to let most of their employees work from home.

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