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Google, Facebook, Amazon are massively ordering home office for the coronavirus

March 10, 2020

These tech giants have asked their workers not to go to their headquarters.

6 min read

This story originally appeared on Business Insider

Google, Facebook, Amazon are massively ordering home office for the coronavirusGoogle, Facebook, Amazon are massively ordering home office for the coronavirus

Silicon Valley is preparing to face the coronavirus .

During February and March, technology companies banned non-essential trips, canceled appearances at highly anticipated conferences such as the SXSW, and suspended job interviews in person.

Now that the virus is in the United States , technology companies are taking precautions closer to their homes, particularly in California and Seattle, where most large technology companies are based.

According to the latest WHO figures, there are now more than 97,000 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus worldwide, although the vast majority of these are still in mainland China, where it originated. In the United States, 148 cases of the virus and 10 deaths have been confirmed.

In response, some technology companies have temporarily closed the offices and asked thousands of employees to work from home if possible.

Facebook instructed employees at its Menlo Park headquarters and other offices to work from home

Image: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Facebook said Thursday night that it was “strongly” recommending that the staff of its Bay Area offices work from home .

“This decision is based on our desire to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19. The health and safety of our equipment, loved ones and our neighbors remain a priority,” a Facebook spokesman told Business Insider .

“Based on the guidance of today's Santa Clara County, we strongly recommend that all employees and contingent Bay Area staff work from home starting tomorrow, Friday, March 6,” they added.

Facebook also closed its Seattle offices after a worker tested positive for the virus .

Several Amazon employees have tested positive for the virus

The “Amazonian spheres” in Seattle / Image: AP / Ted S. Warren

Amazon has asked workers in its hometown of Seattle and nearby Bellevue to stay home until the end of March, CNBC reports. This covers approximately 2,000 employees.

The company confirmed earlier this week that one of its Seattle-based workers had been quarantined after testing positive for the virus. Two Amazon employees in Italy also contracted the virus .

Google asked its employees in Washington and California to stay at home

Image: Michael Short / Bloomberg through Getty Images

Google has also asked all of its employees at its Washington and California state offices to work from home if they can, according to GeekWire . In addition, he asked employees to choose to come to their Washington offices not to bring visitors.

Unlike Facebook and Amazon, Google has yet to report a confirmed case of coronavirus in any of its workforce in the US, although it was confirmed that an employee at his Zurich office detected the virus last week .

Twitter wants its 5,000 employees to do home office

Image: Amal KS / Hindustan Times through Getty Images

Twitter has also asked employees to work from home for BuzzFeed , as has Square, the financial technology company of CEO Jack Dorsey .

Speaking to BuzzFeed , Twitter's human resources director, Jennifer Christie, tried to turn the situation around.

“We will probably never be the same, people who were reluctant to work remotely will find that they really thrive that way. Managers who didn't think they could handle equipment that were remote will have a different perspective,” he said.

Twitter wants all 5,000 employees to work from home, and has ordered it for anyone in Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong. Dorsey also retired from an appearance at the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas .

Microsoft said it will pay its 4,500 workers per hour to stay at home

Image: Charles Platiau / Reuters

Originally, Microsoft had told employees in its Seattle and San Francisco offices that they could work from home until March 9, but on Wednesday extended that deadline to March 25 .

The company will also continue to pay its 4,500 workers per hour , cafeteria workers, bus drivers, even if they work for reduced hours. “This will ensure that, in Puget Sound, for example, the 4,500 employees per hour who work at our facilities will continue to receive their regular wages even if their working hours are reduced,” the company said.

Slack is deeply cleaning its San Francisco headquarters

Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield / Image: REUTERS / Brendan McDermid

Slack issued a statement Thursday announcing that he was encouraging staff to work from home on Friday after discovering that one of his employees had just returned from “an area with possible exposure to COVID-19 while traveling abroad.”

“It has not been confirmed that this employee has contracted COVID-19 and has not reported any symptoms. However, because this employee was present at the office after returning from the trip, we are taking the following actions as a precaution,” Slack said. .

He said he would close his San Francisco offices on Friday afternoon and on the weekend to perform a deep deep clean.

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