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Google to give $1,000 to each employee working from home

James Leggate
·2 min read

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Google is planning to reopen offices starting July 6, but many employees may continue working from home until September or next year as the coronavirus pandemic has necessitated social distancing.

In the meantime, the Mountain View, California-based company will pay each of its employees $1,000 for equipment and office furniture as they continue to work from home, CEO Sundar Pichai announced Tuesday.

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Google is taking “a gradual, phased approach” to returning employees to offices, Pichai wrote in an email to employees. When some of the tech company’s buildings reopen in July, employees will return “on a limited, rotating basis” with only about 10 percent capacity working in a given office.

“We’ll have rigorous health and safety measures in place to ensure social distancing and sanitization guidelines are followed, so the office will look and feel different than when you left,” Pichai wrote. “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.”

In September, Google may scale up to 30 percent capacity in its offices, according to Pichai. But for most employees, working in the office will be voluntary for the rest of the year.

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COVID-19 spreads easily between people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health officials recommend everyone stay home whenever possible, and when going out they say to keep at least 6 feet between other people, wear cloth face masks and frequently wash hands and sanitize surfaces.

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Google plans to develop more flexibility in how its employees work in the future, the CEO added.

“Our campuses are designed to enable collaboration and community — in fact, some of our greatest innovations were the result of chance encounters in the office — and it’s clear this is something many of us don’t want to lose,” Pichai wrote. “At the same time, we are very familiar with distributed work as we have many offices around the world and open-minded about the lessons we’ll learn through this period.”

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