Microsoft Tells Employees to Work From Home, IBM Suspends Travel
Microsoft and other global companies have advised their employees to work from home and curtail travel plans.
Microsoft has allowed employees in Seattle and San Francisco to work from home till March 25 as the novel coronavirus outbreak continues to spread in the US.
The tech giant has also recommended that those who are feeling sick, have a compromised immune system, or have had contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 should work from home.
The company employs nearly 54,000 people in the Seattle region.
"Consistent with King County guidance, we are recommending all employees who are in a job that can be done from home should do so through March 25th. Taking these measures will ensure your safety and also make the workplace safer for those that need to be onsite," said Microsoft Executive Vice President Kurt DelBene in a statement on Wednesday.
"Limit prolonged interactions and try to stay more than six feet (1.8 meters) away from others. Keep in-person meetings as short as possible. Most importantly do not come to work if you are sick. This will be clearly posted on all building entrances," said the company.
Microsoft is the latest company to take necessary precautions to tackle the ongoing concerns with coronavirus. Twitter has also told its 5,000-string workforce to work from home. While Google and Facebook have cancelled their large-scale developer conferences.
Amazon has also confirmed that an employee at its Seattle headquarters has been tested positive for COVID-19.
IBM has issued new travel guidance for its employees, asking them to curtail flying unless it is deemed necessary. “ IBM is suspending all domestic travel for internal meetings, and for participation in all external events with more than 1000 attendees. In addition, all international travel will be sharply curtailed to only business-critical situations when virtual methods are insufficient”, as said in this statement.
The company also informed on Wednesday it is cancelling the Think 2020 developer conference, which will now be converted into a digital-first event, to be held from 5 to 7 May.
(With IANS inputs)
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