SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – A Bay Area social media giant is now giving employees the option to work from home, permanently.
However, some business leaders and city officials voice their concerns over what that could mean for the local economy.
San Francisco based Twitter was one of the first companies to adjust their business operation with employees working from home in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
That adjustment just became a permanent option for Twitter employees.
The CEO of the social media company Jack Dorsey is now allowing Twitter employees who would like to continue working from home the ability to do so indefinitely.
“Certainly the COVID-19 pandemic obviously forced us all to shelter in place, to leave our physical work places and it’s going to have short term effects that we are already seeing and likely long term effects like we are seeing with the announcement from Twitter,” Rufus Jeffris said.
Rufus Jeffris is the spokesperson for the Bay Area Council, a business sponsored public policy advocacy group that works to create and maintain a strong Bay Area economy.
He talks about some of the possible implications for Downtown SF that could follow Twitter’s decision.
“Many local businesses rely on those workers who work in those areas, whether they are going to lunch, buying supplies or gifts, daily services the coffee houses we all use. Not only is that a potential downside for many of those kinds of businesses but the tax revenue that those offices and the commercial space it generates,” Jeffris said.
San Francisco Supervisor Ahsha Safai talks about his concerns with Twitter’s talk of a forever work from home model.
“There was a significant amount of money given to these businesses to move into this location. We gave a lot of flexibility in terms of allowing them to have internal cafeteria and tax break on their payroll, for them to ultimately decide that they would then go to telecommute without waiting for their to be a final decision on how the economy will evolve, I think is the wrong direction to go in,” Safai said.
According to this Twitter blog, employees who want to return to the business office, they will find it warm and welcoming with some additional precautions when the company feels it is safe to return.
Jeffris says other San Francisco businesses may follow Twitters lead.
“We don’t expect it to completely come to a halt but there’s definitely going to be some profound changes in how companies operate their physical spaces and the amount of space they need,” Jeffris said.
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