Google North American employees will now have to work from home, as Google encourages them to work remotely due to coronavirus.
Google North American employees to work remotely due to coronavirus
The company sent out a memo on Tuesday encouraging employees to work remotely (that is, from home) until April 10th. Google's decision to issue this memo stems from the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States. A number of states have already been affected by the sickness, including Washington State, New York, Georgia, North Carolina, and Michigan. With the infection count on the rise in the US, Google is doing what it can to prevent large crowds. Large numbers of employees around the office is certainly a good way to spread disease and a terrible way to prevent it.
In light of the recent confirmation of a Google employee in Zurich as coronavirus-positive, it's likely the case that Google wants to take the initiative before it sees more Google employees infected.
Why such a response to coronavirus?
Google's response to the coronavirus outbreak is a normal one with regard to communicable or transmittable diseases. Coronavirus is nothing to scoff at or play with. While its early symptoms can deceive victims into thinking it's nothing more than the flu, later symptoms such as breathing difficulty shine a light on how fatal it is.
Influenza or the flu has a mortality rate of about 0.5%. In contrast, coronavirus currently has a mortality rate of about 3.4%. It's far deadlier than the flu, which is a sickness more common in North America. With coronavirus becoming a deadlier sickness than the flu, and with little knowledge about its behavior, it's safer to stay as far away from large crowds as possible. Coronavirus has thrived so far in large crowds, even in work environments.
How does this coronavirus outbreak response affect the future of North American employment?
Most large companies tend to work in the office, with work-from-home setups more of a rare thing. A number of freelancers and contractors find themselves in a normal work-from-home position. The coronavirus is causing a number of these large companies to change the way they do business. Instead of meeting in the office, employees are having to work from home and use phone and internet to stay in touch with employees and supervisors.
And the new work-from-home mandate in the face of coronavirus will hopefully change the way businesses hire in the future. For years, work-from-home personnel has had to either find a job that would pay a reasonable salary or choose self-employment options. And for years, the Federal Government has deprived self-employed individuals of financial benefits because they don't work in a federally-funded job. With federal businesses encouraging the work-at-home mindset, perhaps these favorable jobs will attract more self-employed persons to their ranks.