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Twitter employees can choose to work from home forever

14 May 2020

Twitter is giving all of its employees the option to work from home forever, signalling that the company’s approach to remote working has been a roaring success.

This week Twitter’s vice president of people Jennifer Christie published a blog that explains the company’s commitment to keeping employees and partners safe during the coronavirus pandemic, and long into the future.

“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,” says Christie.

The company already supported a decentralised and distributed workforce prior to the pandemic, and the company says that the last few weeks have proven that remote working can be a complete success.

Twitter, like most in the tech industry, rolled out mandatory enforcement of a remote working/work from home policy earlier in March. Employees, contractors and hourly staff who could not work from home were still paid labour costs for standard working hours.

Twitter also reimbursed all employees for expenses related to home office setups, such as technology, desks, and chairs.

The company even provided parents with reimbursement for additional daycare expenses incurred. 

Now that restrictions are easing, Twitter says it’s time for staff to love wherever they work. 

Over the next few months, Twitter management teams will make their own decisions about when to open offices; but that likely won’t happen until at least September. 

“When we do decide to open offices, it also won’t be a snap back to the way it was before. It will be careful, intentional, office by office and gradual,” says Christie.

It’s also up to Twitter employees whether they wish to return to offices when they open.

Christie says that business travel will also be forbidden until September, “with very few exceptions, and no in-person company events for the rest of 2020. We will assess 2021 events later this year.”

Christie adds that Twitter takes pride in its early actions to protect the health of its employees and communities – something that will remain its top priority over the coming months.

ESET cybersecurity specialist Jake Moore comments, “The current situation acts as a fantastic experiment to watch for the strengths and weaknesses of any business in testing the option of moving to home offices. Working from home is nothing new, however, moving a large portion of your workforce to work from home can come with security problems.

“When your workforce each become their own IT department, many shortcuts will be taken and companies need to accept this risk. Some companies have taken to monitoring software whilst at home which I think is not the right way to go about it. Monitoring your staff causes friction and a lack of trust in the chain. In-house training can be a fantastic way of keeping employees alert to the risks without painfully overdoing it.”