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Twitter’s new remote working policy: in the office – or you are out!

According to US press, the first communication sent to staff who survived the initial cull at Twitter following Elon Musk’s takeover, was an announcement that working from home was to end and staff are expected to be in the office for 40 hours a week. 

Working from home requests can only be approved by Musk himself. Given that Twitter reportedly till employees over 3,000 staff, that’s quite a tall order, however I suspect after the brutal action taken following his takeover, very few will be prepared to stick their head above the parapet and make a request.

Will staff leave? Well recently we have seen Apple, Google and Facebook (now Meta) have all been gently doing somewhat of an about turn on working from home, and are encouraging people back into the office with perks and targets. Which raised the question, will there be other remote jobs to go to?

Amazon were reporting to be preparing for the largest number of job cuts in its history, the Financial Times reported ‘Big Tech tightens its belt’ and have warned of doom and gloom in the tech industry. 

What does all this mean for the working from home trend on a wider basis? Are we to see an end to irritating influencers on LinkedIn boasting about their productivity levels whilst swanning about on a beach in Hawaii? 

I doubt it, the influencer influence on social media seems to firmly have its feet under the table for now. For your average worker however, I do think we are starting to see more of a shift. 

Not because it is a new ‘trend’ or because of productivity or because the office has acquired bean bags, ping pong tables and other perks, but because of the harsh realities that economic downturn bring into the workplace. 

As a result I suspect we will start to see the curve developing in relation to the ‘big resignation’. Jobs are starting to look less secure with businesses battling high energy prices, pressure on wage increases and increased corporation tax going into next year. The war in Ukraine and supply issues from China continue to present problems to businesses who are going to face a very real fight for survival.  

Unfortunately I also believe this means where companies start to look at where they can trim the workforce or reduce costs, the roles that are absent from the office can potentially be easily allocated to the ‘can be outsourced’ pile. 

For some time now, workers have had the upper hand, have been able to dictate where they work, how much they work and what they should be paid. The sheer lack of available talent and challenges of the recruitment market have seen in some sectors huge wage inflation and companies competing on who can offer the best office environments and perks. 

I suspect in 2023 we will see a change to the employment market. Those who remember 2008 may be more likely to quietly return to work and try to ride out the next couple of years. Employees and employers however need to remember that for all the grandstanding in the press, requiring someone returns to the office, ‘or else’ is likely to land a company in hot water, processes should be followed and any decision made need to be fair and reasonable. 

Don’t get caught up in the Twitter Storm, and believe you or your business are as invincible as Elon Musk… always take advice.

Contact our employment solicitors today.


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