Some fun news came yesterday for Twitter employees as it was announced they will be allowed to work from home permanently, even after the COVID-19 pandemic recedes, CEO Jack Dorsey said in an email to staff Tuesday.
While some jobs that involve in-person operations, such as server maintenance, will still require workers to come in, employees in roles that can be done remotely can choose whether or not they would like to return to the office, Buzzfeed News first reported.
The social media network, whose headquarters is in San Francisco, is one of the first companies to transition to a temporary work-from-home policy when the pandemic descended in early March. A Twitter spokesperson said “The past few months have proven we can make remote working possible. 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.”
The spokesperson noted that most Twitter offices will stay closed until September, and business travel will also be suspended until September “with very few exceptions.” The company will host no in-person events for the rest of 2020.
Twitter’s new policy lends evidence to musings that COVID-19 could effect a permanent shift in the work economy, as employees settle into work-from-home routines and companies count the dollars and pounds they could save on real estate and office leases. And it’s unsurprising that the Silicon Valley giant would emerge at the forefront of that push, given that Dorsey had already expressed a vision for a “far more distributed workforce . . . that’s not entirely dependent on San Francisco” during an earnings call in February. Dorsey himself had planned to move to Africa for six months this year.
So what about the rest of us? Is this the beginning of the new normal for workforces around the world? We’ll have to wait and see.