Amidst concerns over the spread of the novel coronavirus or Covid-19, Twitter strongly encourages its 5,000 global employees to work from home.
After suspending all non-critical travel for workers, including pulling out of the South by Southwest conference scheduled later this month in Austin, Texas, the social media company in its recent blog post stated, "it's mandatory for employees in Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea to work from home, but that other offices will remain open for those who choose or need to come in."
In its blog post, Twitter said, "We are working to make sure internal meetings, all hands, and other important tasks are optimized for remote participation." With the spreading of virus causing many deaths and taking Asia by storm, Twitter's policy on working from home is the latest and a step beyond what most companies in the U.S. are doing to curb and control the impact of virus spreading fast.
Twitter's suggestion for remote work could also be because its Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey is a big proponent of remote work. Dorsey has already announced plans to spend as much as six months working from Africa in 2020.
Twitter further stated in its blog post, "While this is a big change for us, we have already been moving toward a more distributed workforce that's increasingly remote." Square Inc., another public company led by Dorsey is also encouraging employees to work-from-home.
Many employees of Twitter tweeted praise for the decision by Dorsey for prioritizing the health and safety of its employees and partners with the hashtag #webackjack.
Restriction on travel and events
On February 29, the company notified its partners and people of suspending all non-critical business travel and events.
The policy came into effect immediately and will continue until the World Health Organization (WHO) or Centers for Disease Control deems it appropriate to step back from pandemic precautionary measures or when a vaccine becomes available.
Many companies, including Citigroup Inc. and AT&T Inc., have imposed restrictions on international travel, especially to Asia. Also, companies such as Google and Facebook have cancelled conferences in the US, and Facebook even pulls out of South by Southwest.