Google staff will receive a working from home allowance

Employees in the UK will receive £800 to cover the costs of "necessary equipment and office furniture"

Man searching Google on laptop

Google has announced that it will cover working from home costs for 114,000 employees who will likely continue to do so for the rest of the year.

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, confirmed in a message on the company’s blog that every Google employee will receive an allowance of $1,000 (around £811) to cover the costs of “necessary equipment and office furniture”.

A spokesperson for the company confirmed to IT Pro that the Pichai’s announcement also applies to UK employees.

Pichai also announced that Google will begin to reopen offices on 6 July, “assuming external conditions allow”.

Staff returning to these buildings will do so on a rotating basis, with employees set to go into the office “one day every couple of weeks” to ensure occupancy remains at around 10%. Pichai assured that offices will “have rigorous health and safety measures in place to ensure social distancing and sanitization guidelines are followed”.

Pichai also revealed that Google will increase the target office capacity to 30% in September if conditions permit. However, he added that “there are a limited number of Googlers whose roles are needed back in office this calendar year”.

“If this applies to you, your manager will let you know by June 10. For everyone else, returning to the office will be voluntary through the end of the year, and we encourage you to continue to work from home if you can,” he said, following through on the company’s promise to continue allowing employees to work from home for the rest of the year.

At the same time, Facebook also announced that it would encourage employees to continue working from home until the end of 2020.

Pichai's announcement comes weeks after an internal document revealed that Google is struggling to provide laptops and other essential equipment for its remote workers and new employees. A memo from leadership at the tech giant informed employees that hardware such as laptops and phones were in "limited supply".

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