Google employees won’t go back to work until June 1 at earliest: Read Sundar Pichai’s email

The bulk of Google’s US employees are based in California’s Bay Area, which just extended several stay-at-home orders through the end of May.

Google CEO Sundar PIchai told employees that WFH will continue till May-end.
Google CEO Sundar PIchai told employees that WFH will continue till May-end. (AFP)

Google employees will not return to working from offices at least until June 1, CEO Sundar Pichai said in an email.Even after some Google offices reopen for employees, the company will follow a careful approach for the transition.

In the email which was first reported by Business Insider, Pichai said that offices which are currently on work from home (WFH) status will continue to remain at least till June 1. Google's headquarters in California also announced it is extending "stay-at-home order" till the end of May. At the same time, Google offices in other regions globally are issuing their own guidelines. Pichai also thanked those employees who are currently working on site "to provide critical services to keep our products".

Here's Sundar Pichai's full letter to Google employees.

Hi everyone,

By now it's likely that the global pandemic has touched each and every one of us personally in some way. For those battling illness, dealing with personal loss, or facing another kind of hardship, we continue to send you strength and comfort.

As we start another week with most of our global workforce still working from home, I know that many of you have questions about what a return to the office might look like, and when. The six counties around Google's headquarters in California have just announced an extension to the stay-at-home order through the end of May, while many other localities around the world are issuing their own guidance.

We do not have a specific date for return. However, everyone who is in a recommended or mandatory work-from-home status should assume that will continue until at least June 1, 2020. (If you work in APAC and have been told you can work from the office, please continue to follow your site-specific guidance.)

Although we can't yet forecast specific return dates globally, I wanted to share some high level principles that are guiding our decisions. First, just as we were one of the first companies to move to WFH, we will be equally careful about our transition back to the office. There will be no one-size-fits-all approach, and the specific guidance will vary from location to location. Not everyone at a site will go back all at once - expect the return to be staggered and incremental.

Once we begin to return, our teams will continue to monitor local conditions and adjust accordingly. In all cases, we will listen to the best advice of health agencies, the medical community and our Global and Regional Incident Response Teams, who are constantly evaluating data to help us make the right decisions for each site.

More broadly, this experience is giving us an opportunity to reimagine how we work. As we look to the future, we'll integrate what we've learned from this period of working from home and continue to search for innovative ways to hold events, engage with customers, and collaborate across distributed teams.

I know that the prospect of returning to the office will produce different emotions for everyone. Some of us will be eager to return to our familiar workspaces and see colleagues. For others, leaving loved ones and the shelter of our homes may cause anxiety. We'll ensure that any return will be gradual. Even when offices do begin to re-open, those of you who are taking care of family members or have other special considerations will be able to work with your managers on a flexible approach.

Finally, for those of you currently working onsite to provide critical services to keep our products, offices and data centers running: Thank you! Your work has made it possible for us to help millions of others. I am grateful for everything our global teams are doing to deliver on our mission under these difficult circumstances.

Stay safe and be well,

- Sundar