Google has said that it will allow most of its employees to work from home until June 2021 as a result of the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This was stated by Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and its parent company Alphabet Inc., in a memo sent to employees.

Initially, Google had said that employees could work from home until the end of 2021. The decision will affect approximately 200,000 employees of Alphabet worldwide including across Africa.

"In other parts of the world, we haven't reopened more widely. 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. 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," wrote Pichai.

The company's decision appears to be in line with expectations of when a COVID-19 vaccine will be available globally. Many organizations and countries are currently developing and testing COVID-19 vaccines with no clear indication of when one will be available for public use.

In Africa, South Africa has already commenced with trials for a COVID-19 vaccine developed by the University of the Witwatersrand. The first participants for the vaccine trials were enrolled during the last week of June 2020.

"This means that most Googlers can continue working remotely from anywhere within the country of your assigned office through June 2021. If you are currently living in a country other than where your office is located, or are considering a move, please familiarize yourself with the FAQ and expect to hear from local leadership and People Operations," wrote Pichai.

The announcement also comes at a time when Google has surprisingly said that the pandemic caused a slowdown in its advertising business. This slowdown, according to Google, has also meant that it has paused hiring for most of its open job listings.

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