March 12, 2020
Coronavirus crisis spreads: Google tells North American employees to work from home
Google is recommending that all of its employees in North America work from home, if they can, due to the coronavirus.
Its parent company, Alphabet, has more than 100,000 employees—most of whom work in the U.S.
Employees who can are being asked to stay home until at least April 10th. Google's offices will remain open for employees whose roles require it.
The outbreak has upended business as usual in the tech world. Major companies, including Amazon, Apple and Facebook, are following the advice of public health officials to slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the load on overburdened local health systems by restricting travel and asking employees to work from home.
Additionally, major industry conferences are being canceled to avoid spreading the virus.
Google and other corporations are on constant alert in the fast-moving crisis. They have been making rapid adjustments to policies to keep pace with the spread of the virus. The U.S. death toll rose to 28 Tuesday as infections spreads across the nation. The global death toll surpassed 4,000 and the number of confirmed cases neared 117,000.
On Monday, Google banned visitors from its New York and San Francisco Bay Area offices and recommended that employees in those locations and in Washington work from home.
In an email obtained by CNBC, Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat told employees "every Google office is affected in some way."
"Given the dynamic nature of the COVID-19 epidemic, everyone should be prepared to work from home unexpectedly," Porat wrote. "Take your laptop home every night."
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