Twitter was one of the first companies to go to work from the home model in the face of COVID-19, but we don’t anticipate being one of the first to return to offices.
We were uniquely positioned to respond quickly and allow folks to work from home given our emphasis on decentralization 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.
Here’s how we’re thinking about the next few months:
We’re proud of the early action we took to protect the health of our employees and our communities. That will remain our top priority as we work through the unknowns of the coming months.
March 11, 2020
Moving to mandatory work from home globally + supporting our employees
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. To continue this push, we are moving beyond our earlier guidance of “strongly encouraging work from home” provided on March 2 and have now informed all employees globally they must work from home.
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, including:
Paying our contractors, vendors and hourly workers
For contractors and hourly workers who are not able to perform their responsibilities from home, Twitter will continue to pay their labor costs to cover standard working hours while Twitter’s work-from-home guidance and/or travel restrictions related to their assigned office are in effect.
Additional resources to support parents
As part of our ongoing global benefits support, Twitter is stepping in to ease additional expenses parents may be experiencing when their normal daycare closes due to COVID-19 by providing reimbursement for the additional daycare expenses incurred.
Helping Tweeps set up their at-home offices
All employees, including hourly workers, will receive reimbursement toward their home office set up expenses, and we are working with our vendors to ensure our contractors' work-from-home needs are met as well. We listened to employee feedback and expanded our policy to include home office equipment, such as desks, desk chairs, and ergonomic chair cushions. We’re also allowing Tweeps to expense online fees while working from home.
Last year, we introduced #FlockTalk, a program activated when Tweeps want to come together during difficult times to share what’s going on with them, find community, and be heard by our leaders. News around COVID-19 is impacting people in several different ways -- from schools and offices being closed, to serious health concerns, to racism towards communities, we’re all dealing with a lot. The Twitter Inclusion & Diversity team (@TwitterTogether) in partnership with @TwitterAsians will host a virtual #FlockTalk that acknowledges there’s a direct correlation between conversations between us, the health of our workplace, and the health of our service.
Resource guides to make the work-from-home transition easier
Working from home can be a challenging transition, so we’ve provided a variety of resource guides to help our employees continue to get the job done. We’re listing them here as well because at times like this, sharing insights and learning is so important. We’re all in this together and we want to help others outside of Twitter make their transitions to working outside of their offices easier.
We’ll continue sharing information as we navigate these changes. It’s all in dedication to keeping our Tweeps and everyone around us healthy. We’re all in this together!
March 2, 2020
Encouraging employees to work from home
In addition to the travel, event, and visitor restrictions that we previously shared, today we provided additional guidance as we look to protect the health and safety of our workforce. Beginning today, we are strongly encouraging all employees globally to work from home if they’re able. Our goal is to lower the probability of the spread of the COVID-19 for us - and the world around us. We are operating out of an abundance of caution and the utmost dedication to keeping our Tweeps healthy.
We are working to make sure internal meetings, all hands, and other important tasks are optimized for remote participation. We recognize that working from home is not ideal for some job functions. For those employees who prefer or need to come into the offices, they will remain open for business. Our Real Estate & Workplace team is increasing deep cleaning and sanitizing in all spaces, as well as more visual reminders for personal hygiene best practices and pre-packaged, pre-composed, and pre-plated food options.
Working from home will be mandatory for employees based in our Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea offices due in part to government restrictions. Our criteria will evolve as we get more information, and we will communicate to affected Tweeps as appropriate.
While this is a big change for us, we have already been moving towards a more distributed workforce that’s increasingly remote. We're a global service and we’re committed to enabling anyone, anywhere to work at Twitter.
March 1, 2020
Suspending non-critical business travel and events
We recently shared information about the work we’re doing to surface the right information, to promote constructive engagement, and to highlight credible information around the spread of #coronavirus COVID-19. We will continue to update the public on these efforts this week.
We also have the responsibility of ensuring that the health and safety of our employees and partners are not compromised. We have continued to monitor the situation closely and are adjusting our internal policies to respond to this rapidly-evolving situation. On February 29, we informed our people and started notifying partners that we are suspending all non-critical business travel and events.
This policy is effective immediately and will continue until the World Health Organization or Centers for Disease Control deem it appropriate to step back from pandemic precautionary measures or when a vaccine becomes available.
Our goal is to reduce the risk that anyone at Twitter might contract or inadvertently spread the virus. We must take these proactive steps to protect ourselves and others and minimize the spread of COVID-19.
There are enormous transnational efforts underway to tackle this virus. As a global company with a global workforce, we want to do what we can to help the success of these multi-stakeholder containment efforts. Temporarily suspending travel is an immediate and important step.
We want to thank our people, partners, and customers for their patience and understanding.