Google says its employees can work from home until June 2021

An extension to the previously set date of January 2021 has now been confirmed. (Shutterstock)

Google has announced new plans to let employees continue to work from home until next summer, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The tech company had previously revealed plans to begin reopening more offices globally as early as June this year, with the majority of its workers back in offices by the start of next year. However, after discussions between top executives, an extension to the previously set date of January 2021 as a tentative deadline for office returns has now been confirmed.

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Who will the new plan affect?

According to The Wall Street Journal, the work from home extension will affect "nearly all" of the company's 200,000 employees.

Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, explained the move in an email to employees, writing, "To give employees the ability to plan ahead, we are extending our global voluntary work from home option through June 30, 2021 for roles that don't need to be in the office.”

Have other companies given employees extra time at home?

Google is the largest tech firm to commit to such an extended timeline in response to the pandemic, and is the latest major tech company to offer their employees further time to work from home.

Prior to this, Twitter gave employees permission to work from home indefinitely.

Additionally, back in May, CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, revealed a plan to make half of Facebook’s 50,000-strong workforce home-based by 2030.

Social distancing requirements have prompted a variety of businesses to reinvent the concept of office working as we know it, with busy open plan offices and hot desking unlikely to make a comeback for quite some time.