Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company’s offices would remain closed at least until June 1, according to emails sent to employees, which were seen by CNBC.
Pichai said employees would return in a “staggered” approach to cautiously try and move past the virus pandemic. He said the return would be “gradual” in order to alleviate concerns and fears about leaving home likely to be prevalent.
Pichai said it wouldn’t be a scenario where everyone returned to work all at once. “There will be no one-size-fits-all approach, and the specific guidance will vary from location to location,” he said. He added that there would be consideration for those who wanted to continue working from home for family reasons or other concerns.
Even then, though, some employees have continued working onsite since the pandemic forced the shutdowns, so that products could continue to run correctly. To those workers, Pichai said he was grateful for their contributions, which had allowed business to continue as usual in vital areas.
And employees in the Asia-Pacific region have been able to return to work in the office.
Pichai’s words come as six counties in California surrounding Google’s headquarters have extended stay-at-home guidelines for now.
Google was one of the first companies to close offices and mandate employees begin just working from home in March as the pandemic accelerated to a worldwide concern. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, reportedly started planning for the pandemic in detail weeks before it was declared a global pandemic.
And upon returns, Pichai promises that the company will adhere to strict guidance from health agencies, adjusting based on various local and governmental regulations.
Pichai said he understood the various emotions people could feel upon the lifting of lockdown restrictions; some could be elated to return to work while others might feel anxiety about leaving their homes and families.
In response to the virus, Google has instituted a hiring freeze and cuts to marketing budgets.
Alphabet plans to release first quarter earnings after the bell on Tuesday.