Google Extends Work-from-Home to July 2021. Other Firms to Follow. Condo, Apartment, Office Markets in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Manhattan to Take Further Hit

Google Extends Work-from-Home to July 2021. Other Firms to Follow. Condo, Apartment, Office Markets in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Manhattan to Take Further Hit

Those markets are already getting hit.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET:

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, which has about 200,000 employees and contract workers, keeps pushing out the date when its staff can return to the office. CEO Sundar Pichai has now decided, after a debate with his leadership team, that work-from-home will be in effect at least until July 2021, a source told the Wall Street Journal.

The goal post gets getting moved. The previous back-to-the-office date had been set for January. In May, Pichai said in a message that post-pandemic there may be “more flexibility and choice for employees as they consider how to work in the future.” But he was still expecting that “most Googlers will be largely working from home for the rest of this year.” This goal post has now been moved to at least July 2021.

Unlike other tech companies, Google has never really got on the permanent work-from-home bandwagon and has so far not announced it as a permanent option.

Other companies, including Twitter and Facebook, have announced a permanent shift to work-from-home for at least some of their employees at least some of the time. Facebook said that as many as half of its employees might be working remotely in five to 10 years.

After the WSJ reported the news this morning, Pichai sent a note to employees:

“To give employees the ability to plan ahead, we’ll be extending our global voluntary work from home option through June 30, 2021, for roles that don’t need to be in the office,” Pichai wrote.

“I hope this will offer the flexibility you need to balance work with taking care of yourselves and your loved ones over the next 12 months.”

In the US, Alphabet has a large office presence in the San Francisco Bay area, not only at its headquarters in Mountain View, but also in numerous office buildings spread around the Bay Area.

In addition, Google is planning to build a huge project in San Jose’s Diridon Station Area, of 7.2 million square feet of office space and 5,900 residential units. The plan is still being hammered out with city of San Jose.

And it has built up a massive and expensive presence in Manhattan, where it operates out of several buildings, including the eight-story Chelsea Market, spanning an entire city block, that it acquired in 2018 for $2.4 billion, the second largest deal ever to close in Manhattan.

In December 2018, Google announced that it would invest over $1 billion in capital improvements “to establish a new campus, Google Hudson Square” in Manhattan. The campus spreads over three leased buildings with over 1.7 million square feet of space. At the time, Google had over 7,000 employees in Manhattan. Construction officially kicked off in October 2019.

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Wolf Richter

In his cynical, tongue-in-cheek manner, he muses on WOLF STREET about economic, business, and financial issues, Wall Street shenanigans, complex entanglements, and other things, debacles, and opportunities that catch his eye in the US, Europe, Japan, and occasionally China. WOLF STREET is the successor to his first platform… TP-Title-7-small-200px …whose ghastly name he finally abandoned in July 2014. Here’s the story on that. Wolf lives in San Francisco. He has over twenty years of C-level operations experience, including turnarounds and a VC-funded startup. He earned his BA and MBA in Texas and his MA in Oklahoma, worked in both states for years, including a decade as General Manager and COO of a large Ford dealership and its subsidiaries. But one day, he quit and went to France for seven weeks to open himself up to new possibilities, which degenerated into a life-altering three-year journey across 100 countries on all continents, much of it overland. And it almost swallowed him up.