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Google extends WFH to June 2021
by Paul Davenport Paul Davenport on

Google is the latest enterprise to tell employees to get comfortable with work from home (WFH), as the tech giant will extend its current mobile working policy – designed to accommodate social distancing in response to the pandemic – until at least June 2021.

While not exactly the “all-in” adoption of WFH in the same sense as tech giant Siemens, who recently announced that mobile working would be adopted “as a core component” of the company’s “new normal,” Google’s policy extension is meant to give employees – specifically those with families – a little certainty as reopening efforts remain fluid across the country.

Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai specifically made the decision to help the parents among the company’s 200,000 employees align their schedules with that of their school-aged children. While many school districts still haven’t coordinated their plans for the fall, let alone next year, Pichai didn’t want work schedules to be another factor causing disruption.

“To give employees the ability to plan ahead, we are 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 in an email to Google employees. “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.”

While Google’s announcement marks more of an extension of emergency measures than an upending of corporate norms, more robust buy-in for WFH has been witnessed across the enterprise space in recent weeks as businesses are starting to see material benefits from mobile workers. Tech companies, in particular, are leading the march toward a remote-first policy becoming the new norm, putting Google in a tricky position as tech giants like Facebook and Twitter – who historically compete for many of the same Bay Area talent – now actively offer new staff WFH benefits out of the gate.

“We were uniquely positioned to respond quickly and allow folks to work from home given our emphasis on decentralization and supporting a distributed workforce capable of working from anywhere,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey told TechCrunch in May. “The past few months have proven we can make that work. So if our employees are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, we will make that happen.”

Siemens, too, emphasized that the ability to support employees who choose to work from anywhere will help improve “the company’s performance capabilities and sharpening Siemens’ profile as a flexible and attractive employer.”

Of course, the success of mobile working hinges on robust connectivity across the corporate footprint, including the residential workstations that individual team members access corporate assets from. But ensuring that “last mile” connectivity – that is, the ISP connections beyond the traditional network edge that provide Internet to employees’ homes – is tricky when enterprise IT teams don’t own or contract those connections.

With comprehensive visibility into this last-mile performance, however, IT teams can gain an understanding of local performance beyond the edge, allowing them to better understand network capacity out to remote users, for starters. From there, teams can zero in on issues taking place outside of the corporate network connections the enterprise owns or controls, and work quickly with the appropriate stakeholders to resolve them.

After that, IT teams can dig in to see if mobile workers are actually getting their contracted upload and download speeds out to their workstations, for instance, or that the tools they are using are the best fit for the job.

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These are just a few ways that comprehensive visibility can help ensure the success of WFH. To learn more about how to gain this visibility out beyond the edge, watch our webinar, WFH: How to ensure end users stay connected.

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Filed Under: industry insights

Tags: WFH monitoring, network performance monitoring, network management, network monitoring, Google, Siemens, mobile workforce, mobile work, mobile working, remote workers, remote work, work from home, wfh

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