Twitter, LinkedIn reverse course due to climbing COVID cases

Twitter closes offices while LinkedIn decides to allow remote work after all

LinkedIn logo displayed on smartphone screen

The rapidly rising number of COVID-19 cases in the US is forcing social media giants like Twitter and LinkedIn to reverse course on previous decisions they’d made.

In the case of Twitter, the company is closing its San Francisco and New York offices, which it had reopened just two weeks ago. It’s also pumping the brakes on plans to reopen its other offices.

“After careful consideration of the CDC’s updated guidelines, and in light of current conditions, Twitter has made the decision to close our opened offices in New York and San Francisco as well as pause future office reopenings, effective immediately,” a spokesperson told ITPro

In a major shift Tuesday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that vaccinated Americans resume wearing masks in indoor public spaces if they live in high-transmission communities or have vulnerable household members.

As for LinkedIn, the company is doing a 180 and will allow most of its 16,000 employees to work remotely, according to Reuters. They’ll have the flexibility to work remotely full-time or work at an office part-time.

With this new policy, LinkedIn is backing off its plans to have employees work from the office 50% of the time when COVID-19 pandemic restrictions are lifted.

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“We anticipate that we’ll definitely see more remote employees than what we saw prior to the pandemic,” LinkedIn’s chief people officer Teuila Hanson told Reuters. Hanson adding that some jobs would require in-office work.

The tech sector was one of the first industries to send workers home when coronavirus first hit the US last year.

However, tech giants have had different reactions now that the delta variant is rising, causing another public health crisis.

For instance, LinkedIn doesn’t require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to return to the office, but Facebook and Google are.

But LinkedIn’s openness to remote work contrasts other tech giants’ hard-line stances on returning to the office. Apple announced it would require most employees to work from the office three days per week, while Google expects 60% of its global workforce to return to the office at least part-time.

Apple has reportedly pushed back its return to the office by at least a month due to the spike in coronavirus variants. The deadline is reportedly now set for October at the earliest. Furthermore, Apple is reportedly going to give its employees at least a month’s warning before ordering them to return to the office.

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