advertisement
advertisement

Twitter vows to keep WFH forever policy despite Musk’s ultimatum to remote Tesla workers

Early in the pandemic, the company was one the first big tech firms to embrace permanent remote work. Its would-be future owner is not so keen on it.

Twitter vows to keep WFH forever policy despite Musk’s ultimatum to remote Tesla workers
[Source Images: Getty]

More than two years after COVID-19 locked down offices, some Big Tech companies are now closing the leeway for telecommuters.

advertisement
advertisement

However, the list of those tightening grips on remote work does not include Twitter—which was among the first to declare a work-from-home-forever policy in the early days of the pandemic, circa May 2020.

“We can confirm that Twitter continues to allow for permanent work from home as was shared in 2020, with no plans to change this policy,” a Twitter spokesperson told Fast Company in an email. “While our offices have reopened globally, employees may continue to work from home part time or forever if they choose. . . . Our priority is for employees to work wherever they feel most productive and creative.”

For Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey—who was at its helm when the policy originated—the place he feels most creative might be San Francisco, where he lives on the oceanfront in Sea Cliff; or Myanmar, where he journeyed for a meditation trip in 2018; or Africa, where he was set to relocate for six months in 2020 before the pandemic upended his move. Often described as “eccentric,” “bohemian,” and “a wanderer,” it’s no surprise that Dorsey would greenlight a nomad-friendly policy for the rest of his company.

advertisement
advertisement

But even after new chief executive Parag Agrawal took the reins in November, Twitter seems to be holding steady on WFH forever—despite a rush of tech companies leading a drive back to the office. Google, Facebook/Meta, Microsoft, and Apple have all begun to call telecommuters back to headquarters, with some hoping to soften the blow by dangling on-campus music concerts, pop-up snack shacks, and a terrarium-making class. (Reddit and Amazon are among the tech companies still allowing remote work.)

Others, meanwhile, have made no bones about it: In a pair of emails reportedly sent by Elon Musk to Tesla employees Tuesday, the electric carmaker’s chief executive told workers to either return to the office or quit. “If you don’t show up, we will assume you have resigned,” Musk wrote, according to emails obtained by Electrek. “This is less than we ask of factory workers,” he claimed, continuing, “That is why I lived in the factory so much—so that those on the line could see me working alongside them. If I had not done that, Tesla would long ago have gone bankrupt.”

Given that context, it’s still up in the air whether Twitter’s WFH flexibility could end if Musk’s purchase of the social media platform is finalized. The $44 billion deal is currently slogging its way through corporate diligence, although some observers believe Musk might try to sabotage it—whether that’s because of an early-May stock market crash that made the economics far less sensible, or the entrepreneur’s own mercurial nature.

advertisement

But business profits aside, remote work is among the most desirable perks a company can offer its employees. According to an August 2021 Harris Poll, 62% of Americans said they would take a pay cut to be able to work from home forever, 30% said they would work longer hours, and 13% said they would accept worse healthcare coverage or surrender vacation time.

advertisement
advertisement