Should Your Workers Stay Home Permanently?

While some states are reopening despite that there is no vaccination against the Covid-19 virus, Twitter workers can continue to work from home….. forever. The company sent staff home as soon as people started getting sick from the Coronavirus. Now, according to a corporate blog post, the company says, “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.”

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Will your organization follow suit?

You’ve proven that this arrangement has worked for several months, so it will be more challenging to argue that it could not be a permanent option.

If you feel that it is essential to bring everyone back together consider these options:

  • You might consider bringing back only the staff you absolutely need on-premises.
  • Will returning be mandatory or voluntary? Some employees will face childcare issues as schools will remain closed for the remainder of this school year and possibly next fall. Other employees may have housemates who have serious health conditions. Can you come up with a plan to allow those workers to stay home while others return?
  • If you are still concerned about social distancing, you could bring people in shifts or stagger work hours.  

If you want to experiment with continuing the work from home practice, consider these issues:

  • If you let your staff continue to work from home, what provisions will you come up with to provide ongoing support for computers and other technology?  Will you reimburse for office supplies for at-home workers?
  • Are you prepared to create policies regarding off-site meetings with clients or colleagues? Check on your legal liability.
  • What have you learned from the temporary ‘work at home’ stint that can be improved upon to help everyone be more efficient?

Obviously, you will need to make a decision on whether workers return to the office or stay at home based on the requirements of the nature of your business. But when, or if workers, return there is no doubt that the environment will have changed. Twitter employees, for example, aren’t likely to see the long touted free food, shared bikes, and communal events. What will your workplace be like in another six months or a year?

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