BIG COMPANIES CHANGING POLICIES
We’re living in truly unprecedented times. Not only has the World Health Organization called COVID-19 a worldwide pandemic, but stock markets are hemorrhaging billions, countries are closing their borders, and businesses are beginning to feel the pitch. With a vaccine at least six months away and governments imposing new social distancing measures, we knew it wouldn’t take long for businesses to introduce their own coronavirus policies to protect their staff, customers, and shareholders. The biggest of all is mass cancelations, with Facebook the first major player to cancel a high-profile event, telling the world F8 2020 was scrapped, before Google followed suit to cancel its upcoming I/O 2020 event - the biggest annual conference in the giant’s calendar. Apple, too, put the brakes on its rumored March event, where it was due to unveil new iPhones, iPads, and even potentially a Tile-like Bluetooth tracker device, with insiders telling the media it was simply too risky for a conference of its scale to take place. It followed up the news with an announcement that its WWDC 2020 would be an online-only affair to protect its staff.
Now, the advice is clear: if you can safely and comfortably work from home, do so. Brands like Twitter, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and JP Morgan have introduced new work from home policies, requiring all-but-essential staffers to clock in from home, and even NASA’s Ames Research Center has introduced a telework policy after one of its employees tested positive. Google sent home staff and warns on its websites that customer support may be slower than usual, and new flexible working arrangements are being drafted by smaller companies.
DEPENDING ON TECHNOLOGY
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March 20, 2020