Twitter has announced that it will be “strongly encouraging” all of its employees around the world to work from home “if able,” as the company seeks to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19. The company hasn’t said how long it will be encouraging employees to stay home.
The request for employees to work at home isn’t a mandatory requirement, and those who prefer or need to come into Twitter’s offices will still be allowed to do so (except in Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea, due to government restrictions there). Twitter’s announcement also notes that it’s working to increase deep cleaning and sanitizing, adding additional notices for good hygiene, and pre-packaging and pre-plating food to help avoid spreading the virus.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey also announced that a similar policy would be put into place at Square (of which he is also CEO).
The policy comes just one day after Twitter announced that it would be canceling all “non-critical” employee travel and events — the result of which saw the company withdraw from attending SXSW, canceling both an appearance by CEO Jack Dorsey and its annual #TwitterHouse installation.
Concerns over the spread of the novel coronavirus have already had widespread effects on the technology industry: Mobile World Congress, Facebook’s F8 developer conference, the Game Developers Conference, the Geneva Motor Show, and two smaller Google and Microsoft conferences have already been canceled or postponed due to concerns surrounding the virus.
COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has infected over 92,100 people to date, with confirmed cases in over 70 countries. More than 3,125 people have died due to the disease, including six people in the United States.