Twitter Tells Staff They Can Work From Home Forever, But Would You Want To?

Is it time to kiss goodbye to office life for good? Or have you lost patience with video meetings? We asked readers.

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Video meetings, instant messaging and email chains are now the norm as a huge percentage of the population has adapted to working from home. But would you want to keep it this way for good?

Twitter announced it’ll give its staff the option to work from home indefinitely after lockdown lifts. The company, based in San Francisco with a site in London, employs around 5,000 people and said the past few months has proved remote working is possible.

“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 blog post.

How likely are people to do this, though? When we asked HuffPost UK readers, the response was mixed. Jasmine Granton, a PR consultant based in Bedford, is “desperate” to get back to the office and would hate to work from home full-time.

“I’m lucky enough to have working from home flex anyway, but all I want is to be back having chats, meetings in person and complaining about the office music,” she says. “I have the odd day where I enjoy working from home and more time with my dog, but I miss my colleagues.”

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Ellie Pilcher, a marketing manager based in north London, believes it’s easier to establish a work-life balance with two distinct locations.

“Something about working in an office keeps me feeling productive for more of the day, and I can separate my personal time from work time with ease, so no burnout,” she says.

But there are some undeniable benefits to working from home, including more time in bed, money saved on commuting, and a reduction in car emissions generated by thousands of vehicles crawling along in rush hour traffic.

Neil Hart, who works in marketing and is based in St Albans, believes some people may have dismissed remote working too early, because working from home during a pandemic is not the same as working from home in normal times.

“Many are being put off by their first working from home stint, but aren’t getting the true remote experience, where kids and spouses are out the picture, where you can hit the library, coffee shop or co-working space with gay abandon,” he says.

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And Chloe, a social researcher based in Bristol, who chose not to share her surname, agrees that post-pandemic remote working would be better. She would like more companies to offer it full-time to open up job opportunities.

“There are so few jobs in my industry locally, and it would be great if this opened up companies who’ve previously only offered posts in London,” she says. “Otherwise it does mean that at some point, if you want to progress, you have to consider commuting or moving.”

Another office worker, who wishes to remain anonymous, wants her company to follow Twitter’s lead because working from home during lockdown has made life with a chronic illness easier to handle.

“It helps to manage fatigue, reduces exposure to colds and other workplace viruses and takes the pressure off having to pretend to be okay on bad pain days,” she says.

Perhaps a mix of both is the answer? “I wouldn’t want five days in the office, but I enjoy the social aspect so wouldn’t want five days working from home,” one reader says on Twitter. For most people we spoke to, the ideal scenario would be the option to work from home part-time, to get the best of both worlds.

If there’s a tiny silver lining to come out of lockdown, it could be that our work lives change for the better, forever.