Twitter and Other Tech Companies to Continue Working from HomeBy José Escobedo | Wed, 05/13/2020 - 19:02
Is working from home part of today’s new reality? It will be for Twitter’s employees, at least. Early this week, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey emailed the company’s employees letting them know that they would be allowed to work from home permanently, even after COVID-19 homebound restrictions are lifted. Of course, there are exceptions, such as those workers who are in charge of maintaining the servers and are required to be in the office to perform their duties.
“We have been very thoughtful in how we have approached this from the time we were one of the first companies to move to a work-from-home model,” said a Twitter spokesperson. “We will continue to be, and we will continue to put the safety of our people and communities first.”
In the beginning of March, Twitter began to encourage employees to start working from home, since news about COVID-19 began to appear daily in US media. During that time, Dorsey announced the company's intent to work in a “distributed” way before the virus hit, but the pandemic forced the company to move the timeline up, reports BuzzFeed News.
Through an email, Dorsey reported Twitter’s offices would most likely not open before September and that all business travel would be cancelled up to that date as well. Among other cancellations, the company will cancel all face-to-face events for 2020. It will not be until 2021 that the company will contemplate once again its business plan for the coming year.
Microsoft, Google, and Amazon, among other tech giants, have hoped on the Twitter bus and have developed a work-from-home policy. Google CEO Sundar Pichai said during a meeting that the company’s employees will most likely work from home for the rest of 2020. Nevertheless, those employees who must return to the office can do so in “June or July,” while most employees can continue to work from home for the remainder of the year, reported The Information.
Amazon has also extended its work-from-home policy. The company has offered its employees the choice to work from home through at least October. For Slack, its employees can work from home through September, reported Forbes.
For the social media giant Facebook, employees will have permission to work from home until the end of the year 2020, reported CNBC. For Microsoft the work-from-home policy will be extended through October and Zillow’s employees will “have the flexibility” to work from home through at least the end of the year, CEO Rich Barton tweeted.
It would appear that the idea of working from home is something that most employees do not reject, either. Today, in an online poll conducted by thejournal.ie titled: Would you prefer to work from home permanently? 6113 people answered they would like to split their time between home and work. This constitutes 54.2 percent of the total surveyed. Meanwhile, 2,920 answered yes (25.9 percent) and 2251 answered no (19.9 percent).
These numbers back up the notion so far that for many companies, working from home has not altered employee performance. As Nationwide's CEO Kirt Walker explains, working from home is actually working. The company's pandemic experiment has gone so well that it has decided to make the arrangement permanent for many of the company's employees, says Walker. In early March, Nationwide (#75 on the 2019 Fortune 500) moved 98 percent of its 27,000 employees to working from home over five business days. “The first thing we wanted to do was keep our associates safe, stay connected to our members and do our part for America to flatten the curve,” says Walker. The move went smoothly, tech issues were solved and an interesting finding came about. “We've tracked all of our key performance indicators and there has been no change. We keep hearing from members, 'if you had not announced you were all working from home, we never would have known,’” says Walker.
For Mexico City, businesses returning to work is not much different. El Financiero reported today that Mexico City’s government is planning a re-opening plan that would allow employees to return to the office by August. The project is considered a proposal that will be presented to the city’s Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum. “It is a draft that it is being reviewed by our team members and therefore it is not an official document yet. Once the city’s Reactivation Plan is ready, the official presentation will be made and it will be sent to the media by institutional channels,” according to the city’s news bulletin. According to the draft schools are expected to be opened by August. Universities, bars and nightclubs will open until September.