Facebook and Google extend remote working policies until next year

Tech giants plan to reopen in July as lockdown restrictions are lifted

Facebook and Google will continue to allow employees to work from home for the rest of the year, the two companies have confirmed.

The tech giants have announced plans to reopen offices for July, but both will allow home working to continue for most of their workforces.

As lockdown restrictions are lited, there are concerns about how employees will manage issues like childcare, commuting and keeping to safe distances to prevent further spread of COVID-19. In the US, there has been plenty of criticism around the handling of the pandemic and the government's plan for a lockdown exit

Facebook previously said it would ignore government guidance and only bring back "critical workers" when it's safe to do so. The company has expanded on that statement, announcing that it will reopen offices on 6 July, but that most employees will be encouraged to continue working from home. 

"Facebook has taken the next step in its return to work philosophy," a spokesperson said, according to the BBC. "Today, we announced anyone who can do their work remotely can choose to do so through the end of the year. As you can imagine this is an evolving situation as employees and their families make important decisions re: return to work."

Google has also extended its working from home policy, which it originally had in place till 1 June. CEO Sundar Pichai confirmed that its offices will reopen in July, with enhanced safety measures, but that all employees that can do their jobs from home will be able to continue doing so till the end of the year.

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What's more, the tech giant has also announced a company-wide holiday for Googlers to help deal with coronavirus fatigue. All employees will take a day off on the 22 May to address "work from home related burnout", the firm has said. 

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