Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many have lost their jobs, and those who have kept them have had to redirect their workspace into their homes. People have grown from novices to near-experts with things like teleconferencing and using webcam technology. Although some might expect this pandemic to be resolved by the end of the year and for work life to go back to normal, it’s unlikely to be at that simple. Google recently said that people could be working from home for at least another year. With this information, employees and employers need to be prepared for a 2021 that requires continued working from home.
One of the biggest companies in the tech industry and beyond, Google was initially banking on employees being able to return to normal work circumstances by the end of 2020. However, when CEO Sundar Pichai spoken with them on Monday, he said it wouldn’t be until July 2021 that many of them would be able to come back to work. Concern was expressed for health of employees and their family.Read More »
Other tech giants have signaled changes in plans as the pandemic has continued. In May, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckeberg said that some employees would be able to work from home full-time. The Google announcement was much more encompassing in terms of who’d be able to work remotely. Apple has also reportedly made comments indicating that they don’t see a turn to in-office work before the current year is over.
Whether employees can return to Google headquarters also depends on what sort of progress is made with finding a coronavirus vaccine, along with flattening the curve in terms of cases. Spikes have been reported, following the reopening of states or relaxation of certain lockdown guidelines. With schools poised to reopen for the fall term in certain areas, the risk of exposure and transmission can greatly increase.
Thanks to the nature of tech companies such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter, who has allowed for indefinite remote working for employees, performing tasks from home is relatively easy. As long as an employee has a strong home internet connection and is able to perform their duties remotely, they can have a successful experience.
Even after a vaccine is discovered or the curve is flattened enough for cities and states to safely reopen, there may be businesses that stick to remote working for many of their employees. Realizing that many of these duties can be performed from home and that risks of disease transmission are greatly reduced could cause business leaders to permanently alter part of their business design.
With divides between federal, state, and local governments about how to best handle the pandemic, businesses extending their work from home options can be a big assistance for keeping the disease’s spread controlled. As July 2021 approaches, it might be safe enough for employees to come back into work. Alternatively, things might not be anywhere close enough to safe or be getting worse.
Given how Google has been looking ahead on this matter, updates about the situation and when permanent work from home requirements will be suspended. When workers are able to come back to the offices, there are likely to be severe changes to the typical routine. For Google and other companies, workers will likely have to follow certain guidelines regarding things like social distancing and not coming to work under various circumstances. Others might follow Google’s lead by making announcements of anticipating work from home requirements to continue until at least summer of 2021.