Coronavirus: Twitter employees can work from home 'forever'

The company has also cancelled all in-person events for the rest of the year

(FILES) In this file photograph taken on August 14, 2019, employees walk past an illuminated Twitter logo as they leave the company's headquarters in San Francisco. Twitter said May 12, 2020 it is unlikely to open its offices before September, and that many of its employees will be permitted to work from home permanently even after the end of the coronavirus lockdowns. The San Francisco-based company said it was among the first to move to telework in March as a result of the health crisis and that it will continue that policy indefinitely as part of a move towards a "distributed workforce."
 / AFP / Glenn CHAPMAN
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Social networking site Twitter, which was one of the early adopters of remote working model amid Covid-19 crisis, will allow its employees to work from home “forever”.

“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,” said Jennifer Christie, Twitter’s vice president of people.

Opening offices will be our decision, when and if our employees come back, will be theirs

At the time of the outbreak, the San Francisco-based company was “uniquely positioned” to allow its employees to work from home given its emphasis on “decentralisation and supporting a distributed workforce capable of working from anywhere”, she said.

“Opening offices will be our decision, when and if our employees come back, will be theirs."

However, Twitter clarified that those employees fulfilling functions such as maintenance of servers will still be required to come in.

“Our offices will be their warm and welcoming selves, with some additional precautions, when we feel it’s safe to return,” said Ms Christie.

In a companywide email, Twitter's founder and chief executive Jack Dorsey said it is unlikely the microblogging site would open its offices before September.

He explained that business travel would be cancelled until then as well, with very few exceptions, reported BuzzFeed, an American technology media company.

The company will also cancel all in-person events for the rest of the year, and reassess its plan for 2021 later this year. The company increased its allowance for work-from-home supplies to $1,000 for all employees.

Twitter’s announcement comes at a time when other tech giants are weighing various options to manage their physical offices during the coronavirus crisis.

Google and Facebook have already extended their work-from-home policy till the end of this year. Amazon has drawn it out till early October.

Meanwhile, Cupertino-based Apple is planning to bring back its staff to stores in different phases after it shut down its retail operations amid the virus outbreak.

The first phase, which includes staff members who cannot work remotely, has already begun in some regions globally. A second phase, which will begin in July, will return even more employees to Apple’s offices.

In March, the iPhone manufacturer shuttered all outlets outside Greater China. This affected more than 460 shops, including about 270 in the US.