Google employees will work from home until summer 2021 due to COVID-19 concerns, the company announced Monday.
The decision affects almost 200,000 employees worldwide, including full-time and contract workers, making Google the first large U.S. company to keep its employees working remotely for over a year.
The company stated earlier that most of its employees would work from home for the rest of 2020.
The choice to extend remote work into next year could cause other businesses to announce similar plans.
Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai made the choice after debating options with an internal group of executives. According to someone familiar with the situation, Pichai’s decision was influenced by employees with children, many of whom are facing the possibility of online school this year.
"To give employees the ability to plan ahead, we'll be extending our global voluntary work-from-home option through June 30, 2021, for roles that don't need to be in the office," Pichai told employees in a memo. "I hope this will offer the flexibility you need to balance work with taking care of yourselves and your loved ones over the next 12 months."