Coronavirus: Google gives $1,000 to each employee for home office makeover

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Google will give every employee an allowance of $1,000 to equip at-home workspaces, as the company announced most of its staff will be working from home for the rest of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ll be giving each Googler an allowance of $1,000 USD, or the equivalent value in your country, to expense necessary equipment and office furniture,” said Google CEO Sundar Pichai in email to employees on Tuesday.

Google will be “investing more in your work-from-home setup to make sure you have what you need to be productive and comfortable,” Pichai told his employees.

A limited number of Google’s workers will be required to return to the office, according to Pichai, while returning will be voluntary for all other staff members.

“We encourage you to continue to work from home if you can,” said Pichai in the email.

Google will start reopening more of its buildings on July 6, giving employees the opportunity to return to the office “on a limited, rotating basis” in line with a roughly 10 percent building occupancy. In September, the capacity will increase, building gradually to 30 percent.

With more than 70 offices in 50 countries, Google has over 114,000 employees as of December 2019.

Google employees walks out of the entrance hall of Google France in Paris. (File photo: AP)
Google employees walks out of the entrance hall of Google France in Paris. (File photo: AP)

The message follows similar announcements by other American tech companies.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company will “aggressively” open up remote hiring beginning in July, predicting half of the Facebook workforce – which totals 50,000 employees - will be working outside the official offices in the next five to 10 years.

Earlier this month Twitter said it would allow its employees to work remotely indefinitely.

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