Twitter said most of its workforce will be able to work from home — if they choose to — even after the company reopens offices when conditions permit amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Silicon Valley companies were among the first adopters of work-from-home policies when the coronavirus spread, and they’re in no rush to bring workers back to campus. Facebook and Google told employees last week that they will have the option to work from home until the end of 2020 — with most workers expected to not return to the office until 2021.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey told employees of the new open-ended work from home policy in an email Tuesday, as first reported by BuzzFeed News.
Some staffers, because of the nature of their work, will be required to come in to the office. But “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,” Twitter said in a statement. “If not, our offices will be their warm and welcoming selves, with some additional precautions, when we feel it’s safe to return.”
With very few exceptions, Twitter’s offices won’t open before September, the company said. “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,” it added. “Opening offices will be our decision, when and if our employees come back, will be theirs.”
In addition, Twitter has banned business travel before September 2020 and has canceled in-person company events for the rest of 2020 with events for next year to be assessed.
On the company’s Q1 earnings call on April 30, Twitter said it was pulling back on its hiring, now expecting that to be flat for 2020. Previously it had planned to grow headcount this year by 20% or more compared with its roughly 4,900 employees at the end of 2019.
Also on the call, Dorsey noted that Twitter was on the leading edge of “transiting folks to work from home.”
“We were able to flip the switch very quickly and we saw no significant change in productivity as people started working from home every single day,” Dorsey told analysts. “So as we emerge out of the stay-at-home orders, I think it gives us a lot more optionality, gives our employees a lot more optionality.”