A day after the World Health Organization declared coronavirus a pandemic, Twitter is making work from home mandatory for all of its 4,900 employees across the world. “We understand this is an unprecedented step, but these are unprecedented times. And we will continue to do all that we can to support our Tweeps,” its Vice President of the People team, Jennifer Christie wrote in a blog post.
Twitter also said it will continue to pay contractors and hourly workers their labor costs to cover standard working hours until these new restrictions stay in effect. In addition, it will reimburse additional daycare expenses for parents whose usual daycare centers have shuttered over coronavirus concerns. Twitter further stated that it will be taking care of the costs that come with working remotely such as investing in home office equipment like desks and ergonomic chair cushions, online subscriptions, and more.
“Our top priority remains the health and safety of our Tweeps, and we also have a responsibility to support our communities, those who are vulnerable, and the healthcare providers who are on the front lines of this pandemic,” added Christie.
Earlier this month, Twitter began advising its employees to work from home in Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea. The epidemic also threw a wrench in company CEO and founder Jack Dorsey’s plans to spend part of the year in Africa. “I had been working on my plans where I’d work decentralized, as my team and I do when we travel, but in light of COVID-19 and everything else going on I need to reevaluate,” he said in a note to investors.
Twitter isn’t the only company that has put a strict work from home policy. As the coronavirus pandemic, which has so far infected about 1,18,000 globally, continues to be on the rise especially in countries outside of China, organizations such as Google and Amazon have closed offices in a number of countries and recommended their tens of thousands of employees to stay at home.
On March 10th, Alphabet, Google’s parent company, told all of its North American workforce, which comprises over 100,000 employees, to work from home. The search engine giant also had to cancel its biggest event of the year, the Google I/O.