Twitter will let some employees work from home ‘forever’

How some measures implemented to deal with the pandemic could lead to a new normal for corporate America.

Twitter has become the first major U.S. tech company to allow employees who can work remotely to do so indefinitely, as the coronavirus outbreak forces unprecedented changes in work culture across the world.

The pandemic, which has infected more than 4.2 million people globally so far, has led to strict lockdowns in most countries and changed the way businesses function, with work-from-home emerging as the new norm.

The social media company said Tuesday it will not reopen most offices before September, and employees can choose whether or not to come to the facilities. BuzzFeed first reported Twitter’s move.

Chief executive officer Jack Dorsey had earlier planned to move to Africa for three to six months in mid-2020, while leading San Francisco-based Twitter remotely. Dorsey later said he was reconsidering the idea due to the health crisis.

Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey is reconsidering a personal move to Africa. (Francois Mori/The Associated Press)

Twitter said Tuesday it will not have business travels before September, with very few exceptions, and no in-person company events for the rest of the year.

The company, which is under pressure to combat misinformation on its platform related to the pandemic, did not disclose the exact number of employees who will be presented with the option to work from home indefinitely.

Tech giants like Facebook and Alphabet Inc.’s Google have allowed most of their employees to work remotely until the end of this year.

Last week, Google said it has asked employees to take a day off on May 22, to address work-from-home related burnout during the pandemic.

On May 1, Waterloo, Ont.-based OpenText Corp., the largest software company in Canada, said it was permanently closing half of its offices and would have some staff continue to work from home even after coronavirus lockdown measures are lifted.

With files from The Canadian Press

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