Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey has said that his employees can work remotely from home for as long as they’d like, even after the pandemic returns businesses to normal operating routines.
Dorsey made the announcement to staff via an email that has been leaked to the media, but the company has since confirmed the contents of the email, reiterating that if an employee would prefer to remain at home, Twitter would “make that happen.”
Buzzfeed News was the first to publish an email from CEO Jack Dorsey to his employees regarding the working from home arrangements that Twitter put in place a number of months ago now. Alex Krantrowitz writes that “in his email, Dorsey said it’s unlikely Twitter would open its offices before September, and that business travel would be cancelled until then as well, with very few exceptions. The company will also cancel all in-person events for the rest of the year, and reassess its plan for 2021 later this year. Finally, Twitter upped its allowance for work from home supplies to $1000 for all employees.”
The question of when and how to reopen offices is one plaguing hundreds of thousands, if not millions of organisations around the world. Governments are now studying the safest models to reopen economies, balancing their health and safety obligations with the fiscal necessity to reopen.
Facebook has told its employees that its offices will reopen in July, however, concerned workers will be able to work from home until 2021. Google has taken a similar approach, informing most of its staff they can stay at home until 2021, though some will be asked to return to work in the northern hemisphere’s summer.
Dorsey previously signalled his intention for Twitter to work in a more “distributed” model prior to the pandemic.
A Twitter spokesperson has said publicly that “opening offices will be our decision,” and that “when, and if our employees come back, will be theirs.”
“We’ve been very thoughtful in how we’ve approached this from the time we were one of the first companies to move to a work-from-home model. We’ll continue to be, and we’ll continue to put the safety of our people and communities first,” they added.
The spokesperson continued to explain that it was “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.”
“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. If not, our offices will be their warm and welcoming selves, with some additional precautions, when we feel it’s safe to return,” the spokesperson concluded.
The social media platform’s new policy comes amidst confusion from businesses globally as they adapt to social distancing and health guidelines issued by governments.
Just yesterday we reported on Elon Musk’s move to reopen its Fremont, California factory ahead of official approval from County officials, signalling an opposite approach to that of Mr Dorsey due to the way in which Tesla requires hands-on manufacturing, while Twitter is less reliant on the same model.
Twitter’s head of Human Resources, Jennifer Christie has previously told the media that it was unlikely Twitter would ever be the same, and that “people who were reticent to work remotely will find that they really thrive that way.”
“Managers who didn’t think they could manage teams that were remote will have a different perspective. I do think we won’t go back,” in reference to the traditional business model of office attendance.