Google Recommends All Staff In North America To Work From Home Due To Virus Outbreak

All of the employees of Google parent company Alphabet have been asked to work from home till April 10 in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus, said reports quoting an email circulated to its employees by the company and now available with the media.

“Out of an abundance of caution, and for the protection of Alphabet and the broader community, we now recommend the you work from home if your role allows,” read the email from Chris Rackow, Google’s vice president of global security, that was sent on Tuesday.

According to its 2019 annual report, there are about 120,000 full-time workers in employed by Alphabet. However its staff strength in North America alone remains unclear.

Google is among the very first companies in the United States that has asked all of its employees all across the continent of North America to work from home even though there are many firms that have recommended that employees in some specific cities to work from home or have tried out work from home measures for larger employee groups.

With the spread of the coronavirus – also now known as Covid-19, in the Washington state, four of the top tech companies of the US, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook all started to advise its employees in Seattle to work from home starting late last week.

However there has been a significant rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the US since then and the total number of infections now stands at more than 900 with almost 30 confirmed incidents of death because of the viral infection reported form all across the country.

While online classes instead of physical classes have been initiated by many schools and universities in the country, Harvard has even directed all of its students to vacate the campus housing within a matter of days. Cancellation or postponement of major events has also been growing in the country which includes the campaign rallies for the US presidential candidates from the Democratic Party – Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.

Google too had to cancel its largest annual event – the annual developer conference Google I/O, which was scheduled to be organized in the middle of May this year.

The new work-from-home directive form Google is applicable for all of the company’s offices in the United States and Canada while the office of the company in San Francisco Bay Area and New York upgraded the voluntary work-from-home status for its employees to recommended.

“The goal of businesses moving to work from home (WFH) arrangements is to significantly reduce the density of people and lower the health risk in offices, and also reduce the burden on the local community and health resourced, enabling those in need to get quicker support,” the Google email states.

Google is “carefully monitoring the situation and will update the timeline as necessary,” says Rackow’s email, reported the media.

All of the hourly workers employed with the company such as cafe workers would be compensated by Google for all of the hours that they would have worked and earned if the coronavirus outbreak and resultant disruption in work would not have happened, the company had announced last week.

(Adapted from CNN.com)

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