Most Twitter employees – including Aussie staff – will be given the option of working from home indefinitely even after the COVID-19 pandemic passes.
CEO Jack Dorsey emailed staff yesterday to confirm the new arrangement, which will be available to all Twitter workers across the globe except for those whose physical presence is required in the workplace.
A Twitter spokeswoman told news.com.au the new rule applied to “all team members” including Aussies.
“Twitter was one of the first companies to go to a work from home model in the face of COVID-19, but we don’t anticipate being one of the first to return to offices,” the spokeswoman said.
“We were uniquely positioned to respond quickly and allow folks to work from home given our emphasis on decentralisation and supporting a distributed workforce capable of working from anywhere.
“The past few months have proven we can make that work. 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.”
The spokeswoman said “with very few exceptions”, offices won’t open before September.
“Opening offices will be our decision. When and if our employees come back, will be theirs,” she said.
“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.”
There will be virtually no business travel before September and no in-person company events for the rest of the year, with 2021 events to be decided upon later this year.
“We’re proud of the early action we took to protect the health of our employees and our communities,” the spokeswoman said.
“That will remain our top priority as we work through the unknowns of the coming months.”
Meanwhile, other major tech firms have also extended their working from home policies, with Google and Facebook staff able to work from home for the rest of the year, and Amazon and Microsoft workers until the end of October.
The news comes as Australian workplaces begin planning for the return to work following the announcement of the Government’s three-step plan for easing coronavirus restrictions.
It is expected the whole country will have entered stage three by July, and under official guidelines workers will then be encouraged to return to the office.
Companies are also being encouraged to stagger workers’ start and finish times as the federal and state governments brace for a sudden deluge of commuters as restrictions ease.
National Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said it would be difficult to practice social distancing as more workers took to buses and trains during peak hours.
He said the Government was looking at ways to spread out passengers, but urged “employers and employees to look at staggered start and finish times”.
“I think we have to think about a very different way of people … starting at work, some starting at seven o’clock, some starting at 10 o’clock and people finishing at different times,” he said on Sunday.
“We have to think differently about that so there is a lot of planning going on in the meantime.
“The message – go back to work. But if it works for you and your employer, continue to work from home.”