In a move that could reverberate across the tech industry, Twitter announced Tuesday that employees working from home right now will never have to come back into the office if they don’t want to.
The San Francisco-based social media company, which encouraged employees to work from home in early March as the coronavirus began spreading in the U.S., said it came to the conclusion after seeing how well employees functioned while working remotely.
“The past few months have proven we can make that work,” a statement on the company’s blog said of people working away from the office. “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.”
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey made the same promise in an email to staff obtained by BuzzFeed News. Employees whose jobs cannot be done remotely, such as those who maintain servers, will be an exception to the new policy, he said.
Employees won’t have the option of going into the office until at least several months from now.
“With very few exceptions, offices won’t open before September,” the company said in its statement. “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.”
Facebook and Google have also said that most of their staffs won’t be expected back in the office any time this year.
The phenomenon has put cracks in the long-held belief of many employers that employees must come into an office to be productive. Experts say that for many, working from home is here to stay, even after the pandemic ends. With evidence that people can successfully work remotely, many companies may decide it’s not worth asking people to congregate in crowded offices anymore. It’s an exciting proposition for some company leaders, too, as they can save money on renting office space and won’t be beholden to a certain location when searching for new talent.