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Twitter will let employees work from home permanently. Will other companies follow?

Twitter will let employees work from home permanently. Will other companies follow?
[Photo: Alexander Andrews/Unsplash; joshborup/Pixabay]

Twitter employees 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, was one of the first companies to transition to a temporary work-from-home policy when the pandemic descended in early March, as “we were 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,” a Twitter spokesperson told Fast Company in an email. “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.”

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 credence 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 they could save on real estate. 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, although those plans were upended by the pandemic.

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