Corona Impact: Google leads tech charge to work from home !!
An unfamiliar hush has fallen across Google’s European headquarters in Dublin on as thousands of employees follow an injunction to work from home – a precaution against coronavirus that is being replicated across the world.
The glass complex remained largely empty on Tuesday and was expected to be again on Wednesday after the company ordered most of its 8,000 staff to stay away from Grand Canal Dock, also known as Silicon Docks, in Ireland’s capital.
An employee on Monday had flu-like symptoms. It was not thought to be coronavirus but managers asked staff to work remotely for test the company’s ability to function with a ghost headquarters. It is unclear when employees will return.
Other companies have decided to do so indefinitely, emulating a trend that started in Asia after corona virus erupted in China in December.
“We continue to take precautionary measures to protect the health and safety of our workforce, in accordance with the advice of medical experts, and as part of that effort we have asked our Dublin teams to work from home,” Google said in a statement.
It offered no detail on the employee who fell ill, but coronavirus is deemed to be unlikely. A company source added: “We are also using the WFH [work from home] day to test our operational readiness and ensure our ability to perform at full capacity in case of an extended period.”
Keeping a business functional while the workforce is scattered presents multiple challenges. Workers and managers need to adopt new practices, rely on cloud-based applications and other technologies and try to avoid distractions – children, pets, domestic chores, a clandestine siesta.
Google’s decision prompted envy among some tech workers who did work in Silicon Docks on Tuesday. A WhatsApp group of Facebook staffers and contractors expressed hope that their own employers would follow suit – to protect their health and spare them commuting.