“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,” the company said in a statement.
In early March, Twitter was one of the first U.S. companies to make most of its employees work from home.
The new decision suggests the pandemic is likely to have a lasting impact on the way U.S. companies do business. Put another way, the COVID-19 crisis has accelerated trends that were already reshaping the behavior of businesses and consumers, said Brian Wieser, global head of intelligence at GroupM.
“In many cases, these changes were already occurring, but at a slower pace,” Wieser said on Tuesday.
Twitter said on Tuesday that its physical offices aren’t going anywhere, although they will remain off limits to most employees until around the beginning of September.
Letting employees work from home could help reduce some of the losses that Twitter is suffering as a result of the pandemic. Like many of its rivals, Twitter saw a first-quarter usership surge that did little to boot its bottom line. While monetizable daily active users (mDAUs) were up 24% (to 166 million), revenue was up just 3% (to $808 million), year-over-year.
For the quarter ended in March, ad revenue totaled $682 million, up only about $3 million, year-over-year.
Yet, the worst is yet to come for Twitter, analysts say.
“Twitter’s ad business is heavily event-driven, so the suspension of major sporting leagues in March will have hurt its bottom line and will continue to do so as long as social distancing and stay-at-home measures remain in place,” eMarketer senior analyst Jasmine Enberg said last month.
“We’re not likely to see the full effects of the coronavirus on Twitter’s revenues until [the second quarter], but due to rapidly changing conditions, the severity of the impact is hard to predict,” Enberg added.
Twitter is taking several additional measures to adjust to the new realities of the market.
“We are shifting resources and priorities to increase focus on our revenue products and reduce expense growth, ensuring our resources are allocated against our most important work,” CFO Ned Segal said in Twitter’s latest earnings report.
“Revenue product has been elevated to our top company priority, and the current environment validates and creates even more urgency around delivering more direct-response ad formats,” he added.
This past quarter, Twitter also said it would no longer let users block advertisers from accessing all their personal information. Twitter essentially said the shift will be good for its bottom line. “These changes [will] help Twitter to continue operating as a free service,” it told users at the time.Without the additional ad revenue, Twitter seemed to suggest it might have been forced to charge users for its app.