What you need to know
- Google is now asking all of its staff in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East to work from home if they can.
- The move comes after a similar advisory was sent to its North American workforce.
- It comes in the backdrop of the World Health Organisation declaring COVID-19 a pandemic.
As the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, Google has expanded its recommendation for all employees to work remotely if they can beyond just North America to also include offices in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East (via Business Insider).
The move makes sense, as one of the company's staff in Zurich was confirmed to have contracted the virus late last month. The company had also already asked employees in Dublin to work from home after a scare involving someone in that office.
CEO Sundar Pichai himself has chimed in to ask the company's employees to contribute to 'social distancing' — the WHO's terminology for encouraging people to maintain a distance of at least 1m from people exhibiting symptoms, such as coughing.
The company has also assured its hourly and contract workers that it will continue to pay them their regular wages even if their hours are cut back due to prevention measures.
Similarly, for those experiencing symptoms or those who have self-quarantined, the company has set up a fund that would allow such employees to go on sick leave without having to be concerned about losing their livelihood.