Twitter Makes Work-From-Home Mandatory Amid Coronavirus Fears

The micro-blogging platform has already restricted non-essential travel across its workforce.

Tech News
2 min read
Working from home will be mandatory for employees based in Twitter’s Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea offices. 

(This story has been updated after Twitter made it mandatory to work from home globally)

Twitter has made it mandatory for its entire workforce to work from home.

Earlier it had only instructed its employees based in its Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea offices – as coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads in new territories, while it was optional for others.

The micro-blogging platform which has already put restrictions on non-essential travel said that US offices would still be open for employees who feel the need to come in person.

"We are strongly encouraging all employees globally to work from home if they're able. Our goal is to lower the probability of the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus for us – and the world around us," the company said in an updated statement late Tuesday.

"We are working to make sure internal meetings, all hands, and other important tasks are optimized for remote participation," Twitter added.

"While this is a big change for us, we have already been moving towards a more distributed workforce that's increasingly remote," Twitter said. Earlier, Twitter said that it would also restrict all non-essential business travel for its employees and partners.

"We have continued to monitor the situation closely and are adjusting our internal policies to respond to this rapidly-evolving situation. On 29 February, we informed our people and started notifying partners that we are suspending all non-critical business travel and events," the micro-blogging platform said in a statement.

"Our goal is to reduce the risk that anyone at Twitter might contract or inadvertently spread the virus. It is important that we take these proactive steps to protect ourselves and others and minimize the spread of COVID-19," it added.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday declared the Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic. The virus has spread globally, infecting over 118,000 people and killing more than 4,000.

"We understand this is an unprecedented step, but these are unprecedented times," Christie said.

For contractors and hourly workers who are not able to perform their responsibilities from home, Twitter will continue to pay their labour costs to cover standard working hours while Twitter's work-from-home guidance and/or travel restrictions related to their assigned office are in effect, she added.

While Twitter has taken the "unprecedented step" of making work from home mandatory, a number of other companies inlcuding Google and Amazon have encouraged their employees in some areas hit by coronavirus to work from home.

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