The coronavirus pandemic has forced a lot of companies to have work from home set up for their employees, following the lockdown implementation of governments. Twitter, a popular social media platform all over the world and one of the largest tech companies, are one of the first to encourage its employees to work remotely to ensure their safety.
The coronavirus pandemic began affecting a lot of states in early March. In hopes of stopping the spread of the virus, government officials implemented lockdown orders to all the affected countries, forcing a lot of offices to shift into a more flexible work setup for their employees.
Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, sent an email to his employees, announcing that they will be permitted to permanently work from home, even when the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic ends. Still, some jobs that require physical appearance to be done, like maintenance services, will require employees to come into their office.
While the company did not specify the roles that will qualify for the work from home set up, it mentioned that working remotely for the past months proved that the plan could work at scale.
Twitters Turns Fans into Followers
Twitter’s decision shows some of the precautionary measures that they have implemented to deal with the corporate world’s “new normal” brought about the pandemic in America. They clearly know how to manage their Twitter followers based on their fans.
According to a spokesperson from Twitter, they have been very thoughtful as to how they have come up with a new work set up from being one of the first companies to move into a work from home set up. He added that Twitter will continue to prioritize the safety of their employees as well as communities.
In a blog post, Dorsey noted that the past few months of working remotely proved that the set up could really work. It can be recalled that beginning March 2, Twitter has already been encouraging its employees to work from home. On March 11, it strongly mandated its employees to work remotely. Twitter announced that its employees can work from home indefinitely, while those who want to return to work in the office should wait at least until September.
Besides, Twitter said that they will not easily snap back to how they used to be once it decided to open its offices once the lockdown is over. The company also added that reopening its offices will be careful, intentional, and gradual. Meaning, the reopening will be one office after another.
Twitter announced that its employees can permanently work remotely.
In early March, Twitter encouraged its employees to work from home as the coronavirus started to spread around the U.S. Google, Microsoft, Amazon, as well as some other tech companies also allowed their employees to work from home.
In the same month, Jennifer Christie, the human resource head of Twitter, said that the company will never be the same when it comes to its work structure. She also noted that some employees will find out that they will thrive by working from home. On the other hand, managers will find it challenging to manage a team remotely. For this reason, Christie said they would allow their employees who want to permanently work from home if their role or situation enables them to do so. But if their employees find it difficult to work remotely, Twitter’s offices will be welcoming them warmly once it is already safe to return, but with additional precaution.
Dorsey has already announced the company’s plan to work in a distributed way even before the coronavirus spread. However, the pandemic and lockdown forced them to move the timeline up.
Twitter’s CEO also said in his email that it is unlikely for Twitter to reopen its offices before September. He noted that business travel would be canceled as well, but with a few exceptions. All the in-person events for the entire year will also be canceled. Furthermore, Twitter will reassess its plan for the incoming year later this year. Twitter increased its employees’ allowance for their supplies for working from home to $1,000 for all the employees.
Tech giants to allow their employees to work from home through the end of the year
Google and Facebook also confirmed that it would allow employees to work from home until the end of the year. On the other hand, Amazon said that would let its employee continue working from home until early October.
For some giant tech companies, following Twitter’s steps when it comes to permitting employees to work from potentially come at a cost. For instance, businesses like Google and Apple have spent billions in recent years for their office space.
However, Twitter’s shift into semi-permanent work will also slow down it’s hiring. The company initially planned to increase its workforce by 20 percent this year. However, the pandemic caused the plan to be put on hold to control the company’s total growth in its expenses. Twitter now only hires employees for critical areas like its trust and safety division, as well as engineering and product.
The headquarters of Twitter is based in San Fransisco, California, where Mayor London Breed announced in April that they will extend the city’s stay in place orders until the end of May. On the other hand, Governor Gavin Newsom has been gradually reopening the state by permitting several retailers to begin pickup services.
It is not clear yet when the coronavirus pandemic will be over and when the lockdown implementations will be lifted. For this reason, it is a good thing that companies like Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, and Google are taking the initiative of allowing their employees to work remotely.