It is a smart decision to do everything possible to limit the spread of coronavirus. Big tech companies are using the strategy of asking their employees to work from home. This may be a temporary decision, but I think the move could help normalize working from home.
The Verge reported that numerous tech companies have asked their Seattle-based employees to work from home to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. This includes Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and Bungie.
Microsoft is allowing and encouraging its employees based in Seattle or San Francisco to work from home. These employees can work from home through March 25, 2020.
CNBC reported that Amazon is asking employees at its Seattle and Bellevue, Washington, offices to work from home (if they are able to) until the end of the month. This decision was made after an employee tested positive for coronavirus. Amazon has also restricted all nonessential U.S. travel in response to coronavirus.
CNBC also reported that Facebook encouraged all of its 5,000 employees in Seattle to work from home for the rest of the month. Facebook has closed its Seattle office until Monday.
Twitter announced that it is strongly encouraging all employees globally to work from home if they’re able. Working from home will be mandatory for employees based in Twitter’s Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea offices (due in part to government restrictions). Interestingly, Twitter had already begun moving towards a more distributed workforce that’s increasingly remote.
Bungie stated that it has built a fully remote infrastructure for all Bungie employees across the globe, with the goal of prioritizing the safety of their employees.
My hope is that these moves will help to normalize working from home. Employees would no longer have spend time commuting, and could spend those hours with their families. They could reduce the amount they spend of gas each week. Workers could do their job without the risk of catching the next “office cold” or the flu.