Google Tells NYC Office Workers to Work From Home Because of Wildfires

  • Wildfires in Canada are sending smoke to cities across the northeastern US. 
  • In a memo to staff on Wednesday, Google told office workers in NYC to work from home, per CNBC.
  • Company site leads in New York said air quality in many parts of the region had reached “unhealthy” levels.

As the sky in New York City turns orange from Canada’s wildfire smoke and air quality reaches unhealthy levels, Googlers have been told to work from home.

In a memo on Wednesday, Google’s site leads in New York City told employees they should stay home, as the air quality in many parts of the region had reached “unhealthy” levels, CNBC reported.

The company’s hybrid workweek policy requires employees to work from the office three days a week.

“We are advising Googlers to work from home if possible and limit their exposure to outdoor air,” the memo — which CNBC obtained — read.

“Terraces across our New York campus will remain closed today,” the memo said.

Advisory notices were sent to employees in the Detroit area, Washington, D.C., Virginia, Pittsburgh, and North Carolina, per the report.

Canadian employees in Toronto and Waterloo have also been notified, per CNBC. The country is on track to experience its worst-ever wildfire season, officials warned on Monday.

Google’s memo told staffers to remain indoors, “avoid vigorous physical activity,” and run their air conditioners with clean filters, CNBC reported. Those who are already on the company’s campuses were told that Google’s HVAC and air-filtration systems “maintain a high quality of air inside our offices even in these circumstances,” per the report.

The US government has issued air quality warnings across the Midwest and Northeast, telling people to limit time spent outdoors. The air in New York City smelled strongly of burning timber, Insider reported

Smoke from the wildfires got so bad on Wednesday afternoon that it prompted the Federal Aviation Administration to slow or stop flights into LaGuardia Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport due to reduced visibility, Insider reported.

Both airports are now operating with ground delays. John F. Kennedy International Airport remains unaffected so far, Insider reported.

Google did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment sent outside regular business hours. 

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