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Tech Giants Warm To Remote Work

Image via Andrew Neel on Unsplash

With the coronavirus forcing many employees to work from home, the subject has become one of the hottest topics as of late.

Some believe it could lead to a permanent shift in the way businesses operate, while others believe employees will return to their normal office routines when the coronavirus passes.

While we won't try to predict what the future holds, there's a handful of notable companies that have already signaled the future of their businesses is one in which employees will permanently work from home.

Facebook said last week that remote work will gain prominence in the years to come.

"We're going to be the most forward-leaning company on remote work at our scale," Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said. "I think that it's quite possible that over the next five to 10 years, about 50 percent of our people could be working remotely."

However, Facebook made waves in saying that employees who wish to relocate and work remotely will be paid based upon the cost of living in the city they move to.

"Our policy here has been for years—is already—that [compensation] varies by location," Zuckerberg said. "We pay a market rate, and that varies by location. We're going to continue that principle here."

Twitter notified employees earlier this month that they can work from home permanently if they wish to. The company added that offices will still be available for those employees who prefer to come to an office.

"So 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," Twitter said. "If not, our offices will be their warm and welcoming selves, with some additional precautions, when we feel it’s safe to return."

Shopify also announced last week that employees can permanently work from home if they choose, saying "office centricity is over."

"As of today, Shopify is a digital by default," Shopify co-founder and CEO Tobi Lutke said. "We will keep our offices closed until 2021 so that we can rework them for this new reality."

Some of the common concerns over a shift to permanent remote work relate to the effect on commercial real estate and how easily the jobs could then be outsourced to other countries with cheaper labor.

While there will still be companies who require employees to work in offices, it's clear that the coronavirus is pushing companies to rapidly rethink the way in which their employees work.

Leftover Crumbs

  • Hertz files for bankruptcy. Hertz is the latest in a growing list of companies to file for bankruptcy since the coronavirus lockdowns began, as it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Hertz, which was founded in 1918, plans to remain in operation while restructuring its debt. "The impact of Covid-19 on travel demand was sudden and dramatic, causing an abrupt decline in the company's revenue and future bookings," Hertz said.

  • Amazon wants to win back customers. Amazon is preparing for a "Summer Sale" in an attempt to attract customers who became frustrated with delayed shipping times during the coronavirus outbreak. Market research firm Rakuten Intelligence found that Amazon's share of each dollar Americans spend online dropped to 34 cents from 42 cents before the outbreak. Amazon's Summer Sale will reportedly allow brands to offload excess inventory.

  • NBA heading to Disney? The National Basketball Association is in discussions with The Walt Disney Company to resume the season at Disney’s ESPN complex in Orlando in July. The complex would be used as a "single site for an NBA campus for games, practices, and housing." The 220-acre complex has three arenas and enough hotel space to accommodate the move. The move makes sense for both the NBA and Disney, as Disney's ESPN is one of the NBA's largest broadcast partners.

  • No state was spared. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, all 50 states and the District of Columbia saw their unemployment rates rise and total employment fall in April. 43 states set new record high unemployment rates during the month. Nevada was the hardest hit, with the state's unemployment rate jumping to 28.2%, nearly double the national rate of 14.7%. April saw 20.5 million jobs lost, which was the most since the Great Depression.

  • New York auto show cancelled. The New York auto show is the latest high-profile auto show to be cancelled as a result of the coronavirus. The auto show, which was pushed back from April to August, will next be held from April 2-11, 2021. The New York auto show joins auto shows in Detroit, Paris and Geneva in having been cancelled.