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Twitter tells employees they can work from home 'forever'

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The coronavirus outbreak will have a lasting impact on the way Twitter does business, the company revealed Tuesday as it said employees whose jobs allow remote work can continue working from home “forever.”

The San Francisco social media giant was one of the first Bay Area companies to send its workers home in early March. Since then, it’s become apparent to the company that it can operate effectively with workers doing their jobs remotely, Twitter said in a statement.

“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,” the firm said. “If not, our offices will be their warm and welcoming selves, with some additional precautions, when we feel it’s safe to return.”

Twitter said that “with very few exceptions” its offices will remain closed until September.

“When we do decide to open offices, it also won’t be a snap back to the way it was before,” Twitter said. “It will be careful, intentional, office by office and gradual.”

The company declined to say what share of its workforce it expects will be working permanently from home.

Twitter also said it will ban business travel until September “with very few exceptions,” and there won’t be any in-person company events for the rest of the year.

Down the Peninsula at Google, Sundar Pichai last week told employees they would probably continue working from home until the end of the year, and also said employees who must return to offices will be able to do so starting in June or July, with extra safety precautions to prevent coronavirus transmission.

Emily Mikailli, head of human resources at Signifyd, a San Jose artificial-intelligence firm selling fraud-protection services, said she expects decisions by major tech firms such as Twitter and Google about remote work will “trickle down” to smaller Silicon Valley companies.

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