Updated Mar 11, 2020 - Technology

Google asks all North American employees to work from home

Google's offices

Photo: Google

Google issued one of the most sweeping cautionary edicts, recommending on Tuesday that all its employees in North America work from home until at least April 10 amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. (Update: Google on Wednesday extended the request to include employees in Europe, Middle East and Africa.)

Why it matters: The move comes as tech companies hope to limit the spread of the COVID-19 both among their employees and the community at large. Apple, Amazon, Cisco, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft, Twitter and others have also encouraged employees to work from home, albeit in most cases not as broadly as Google.

"Contributing to social distancing if you are able to, helps the overall community spread and most importantly, will help offset the peak loads through critical healthcare systems and also saves it for people in need," Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a tweet, linking to Axios' story.

A Google representative confirmed to Axios it has asked all employees in the U.S. and Canada to work from home, assuming their roles allow it. The move was reported earlier Tuesday by Business Insider.

The company is also setting up a fund to ensure sick leave for hourly and temporary workers globally, as well as for its previously announced plan to pay those whose services may not be fully needed while full-time employees work from home.

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