Employees at Twitter, one of the most prominent US tech companies, will be able to decide if or when they choose to return to the office, according to an official blog post by the company’s Vice President Jennifer Christie.
The decision to allow workers the choice to remain home suggests a lasting change in working patterns because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has disrupted the current system by requiring social distancing and causing a global economic slowdown.
“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. If not, our offices will be their warm and welcoming selves, with some additional precautions, when we feel it’s safe to return,” wrote Christie, following an internal email with the same message by CEO Jack Dorsey.
While some governments are beginning to tell people to go back to work as they ease lockdown restrictions imposed in an attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus, critics have voiced concerns that they are prioritizing the economy over people’s lives.
Twitter’s approach instead gives the choice to the employee.
“Opening offices will be our decision, when and if our employees come back, will be theirs,” said Christie.
“With very few exceptions, offices won’t open before 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,” she added.
Fellow tech companies Facebook and Google have announced plans to reopen offices in summer.
Google has said most employees will work from home until 2021, with only a few returning in early summer, while Facebook is reopening offices after July 4 but will let employees choose to work from home until 2021 as well.