Twitter announces option for employees to work from home forever

Some Twitter employees may never have to return to the office. The company is giving its more than 5,000 employees the option to work from home forever.

On Twitter’s web site on Tuesday, in a blog post titled, “#LoveWhereverYouWork,” the company, based in San Francisco, wrote, “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."

“We all deal with the COVID-19 challenge we are going to see changes many that are going to be good for workers, their families,” said Carl Guardino, President/CEO of Silicon Valley Leadership Group.

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group is a public policy association with more than 350 members including Google and Facebook. Those companies are extending their work from home policies until the end of the year. He said working from home may be preferred until there’s a cure for COVID-19. He points to less traffic congestion and air pollution as benefits. He won’t be surprised if other companies follow Twitter’s lead.

“What we are going to see more often is steps in that direction,” said Guardino. “Let’s see how this plays out at least through the end of the year.”

“It’s remarkable we've been able to get as much done working from home after being thrown into that suddenly,” said San Jose State University Strategic Management Professor Robert Wood.

Wood points to drawbacks including the inability to network and build a career. He adds, long-term, it could also affect commercial real estate and housing.

Then there’s concerns about productivity.

“I think you can be more productive if you collaborate more in a face to face type setting,” said Holden Green of San Jose.

Twitter doesn’t plan to open offices before September and no business travel before then either and no in person company events for the rest of this year.