Google will allow some employees to permanently work from home

Sundar Pichai
Sundar Pichai (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google said in an internal email that employees would be able to apply to work remotely.
  • 60% of staff will work in the office "a few days a week."
  • 20% will be able to relocate and work from one of the company sites.

Google will allow more of its employees to work from home by relaxing some of its rules, the company said in an internal email.

In an email obtained by Bloomberg, CEO Sundar Pichai said on Wednesday morning that offices will slowly be reopening but that some employees will be able to work remotely until September.

Google confirmed with Android Central in an email that the company will allow about 60% of Google's staff to work in the office "a few days a week," while another 20% will be able to relocate and work from one of the many company sites. The rest will be able to apply and work from home permanently.

"We'll offer opportunities for employees to transfer to one of our many global offices, or even move to a permanent work remote (away from your team or office) based on their role and team needs," the email said.

Google will also offer extra "reset days" to help employees "recharge during the pandemic in 2021" and that employees will temporarily be able to work from a location other than their main office for up to four weeks per year.

"Many of these updates will be driven by product areas and functions, and there will be exceptions -- some roles may need to be on site more than three days a week due to the nature of the work or level of autonomy required," Google said.

At the end of Q1 21, the company had 140,000 direct employees.

The company was one of the first to allow workers to work remotely at the start of the pandemic in 2020. However, towards the end of the year, news reports indicated that the company was axing the idea of permanent remote work.

At the time, Pichai indicated that employees would be working remotely until September and that at some point, employees should be living within a commuting distance to their assigned office.

Given that Google is reportedly saving over $1 billion a year thanks to its remote work policy, it's not too surprising that the company would ease up on its rules by giving more employees the option to work from home permanently.

Shruti Shekar
Editor in Chief

Shruti Shekar is Android Central's managing editor. She was born in India, brought up in Singapore, but now lives in Toronto and couldn't be happier. She started her journalism career as a political reporter in Ottawa, Canada's capital, and then made her foray into tech journalism at MobileSyrup and most recently at Yahoo Finance Canada. When work isn't on her mind, she loves working out, reading thrillers, watching the Raptors, and planning what she's going to eat the next day.