Google parent company Alphabet tells all of its North America employees to work from home

Many schools and universities have transitioned to online classes and Harvard has even asked students to leave campus housing within a matter of days.

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In Brief

– “Out of an abundance of caution, and for the protection of Alphabet and the broader community, we now recommend you work from home if your role allows,” the Tuesday email from Chris Rackow, Google’s vice president of global security, reads in part.

Google parent company Alphabet is recommending that all of its North America employees work from home through April 10 due to coronavirus, according to an email shown to CNN.

“Out of an abundance of caution, and for the protection of Alphabet and the broader community, we now recommend you work from home if your role allows,” the Tuesday email from Chris Rackow, Google’s vice president of global security, reads in part.

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Alphabet employs nearly 120,000 full-time workers, according to its 2019 annual report. It’s unclear how many people the company employs in North America alone.

While many companies have asked employees in certain cities to work from home or tested out large scale work from home measures, Google (GOOGL) is among the first to ask that employees throughout the continent do so.

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Late last week, Google, Amazon (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT) and Facebook (FB) all began encouraging employees in Seattle to work from home as the coronavirus outbreak, also called COVID-19, spread in Washington State.

Since then, coronavirus cases have continued to balloon in the United States, with more than 900 cases and nearly 30 deaths now confirmed across the country.

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Many schools and universities have transitioned to online classes and Harvard has even asked students to leave campus housing within a matter of days. Growing numbers of major events have been cancelled or postponed including campaign rallies for Democratic presidential hopefuls Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.

Google was also forced to cancel its biggest event of the year, the annual developer conference Google I/O, which had originally been scheduled for mid-May.

All 11 of Google’s offices in the United States and Canada are affected by the new work-from-home directive, with the San Francisco Bay Area and New York offices upgrading from a voluntary work-from-home status to recommend.


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