Google Tells U.S. Employees to Work Remotely Over Coronavirus Concerns

Google joins other tech companies in asking employees to stay home

Why This Matters:

Bit by bit, the U.S. is going into lock-down as more and more tech companies employing tens of thousands of people are asking their workers to stay home, plug in, and work remotely. Google employs 100,000 workers in North America.

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Google has asked its North American employees to work from home in an effort to encourage social distancing and help curtail the spread of the Coronavirus, according to the BBC. Coronavirus has now claimed the lives of 25 Americans (there are over 600 confirmed cases across the U.S.), according to the CDC.

The big picture: Google joins companies like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and others that have been encouraging employees to work from home in the U.S and abroad. In the U.S. however, many of them had limited the remote work strategy to their California and Seattle offices.

We saw this coming. Google’s move is not entirely surprising. Google CEO Sundar Pichai previously wrote in a blog post, “This is an unprecedented moment. It’s important that we approach it with a sense of calm and responsibility—because we have many people counting on us.”

Search will still work, right? Google provides ample tools to much of the world for remote work, but telecommuting has not necessarily been part of the search giant’s DNA. Even so, the tools Google provides for itself and others and the millions of servers around the world should keep Google churning out answers to “Best home office equipment” without interruption.

Bottom Line. In the U.S., the greatest concentration of Coronavirus (or COVID-19) appears to be on both coasts, which is also where many of these tech companies are based. Between cancelled tech conferences and shuttered offices, it's shaping up to be a particularly difficult year in the tech space.

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