Microblogging service Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) was one of the first companies to let its employees work from home during the COVID-19 health crisis, and now the policy change looks permanent. In an internal email, first reported by BuzzFeed News and confirmed by many other sources, CEO Jack Dorsey said that most of Twitter's staff will be able to work from home "forever."

A smiling woman sitting at her living room table with a laptop.

Image source: Getty Images.

A personal choice

Dorsey's email said that most Twitter employees should be able to continue working from home permanently if that's what they want. To be clear, the company won't require anyone to take this path. Any employees whose job descriptions are suitable for remote work are encouraged to request a permanent change, and Dorsey's management team "will make that happen."

Those who prefer working from Twitter's offices around the world will be welcomed back, the email said, "with some additional precautions, when we feel it's safe to return." Most locations will stay closed at least until September, and Twitter won't hold any face-to-face meetings for the rest of the year. Business travel is not an option until the offices are ready to open, "with very few exceptions."

Will others follow suit?

The IT industry at large followed Twitter's lead into allowing remote-work options in March and April. It's too early to say whether this was a one-time event or the start of a secular shift toward online meetings and work-from-home setups. If Twitter truly started a trend here, we'll see other IT giants following its example in the next few months. Keep an eye on potential bellwethers such as Alphabet, Microsoft, and Facebook to get a sense of what's next for remote-work policies.