Tech Companies Extend Work From Home Policies

Source: Olena Kachmar/123RF

Forbes reports that Microsoft and Google have announced lenient work-from-home plans, certainly through the end of 2020.

Any employees who return to a Google office may encounter new safety measures and office experience. Google employees began remote work starting in March.

But the offer does not extend to employees whose jobs mandate that they return to the office, like those tasked with server maintenance.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that except those required to be physically present in an office, their employees will be able to work from home permanently even after COVID-19.

Amazon also extended its work from home policy, offering Amazon employees the option to work from home through at least October.

Most Facebook employees will be able to work from home through the end of 2020, according to reporting from CNBC. Most Facebook offices will open July 6.

Like Google, Facebook employees began working remotely starting in March.

But many workers who have hunkered down during the COVID-19 pandemic face, or have experienced, anxiety, depression, and loneliness.

According to WWR (We Work Remotely), work from home jobs can challenge your mental health. It can turn normally optimistic, productive worker bees into tired, unmotivated, irritable “toads”.

Working from home anxiety takes on many forms, including, the pressure to hustle 24/7.

Have to find work and then create it? You probably squeeze in work whenever you can. But without time to disconnect and unplug, you risk burning out. 

Working from home requires time management, invoicing skills, marketing, IT troubleshooting, customer service, and much more.

Making work from home as stress-free as possible, a Mayo Clinic Connect Member suggests the following:

  • Set up a designated work area that is not in the middle of where the family will be hanging out or watching TV. (A lot of people try to use the dining table and find it’s a noisy difficult place to work). Make sure you have a desk that’s the right level and a comfortable chair so you don’t end up with a repetitive stress injury such as carpel tunnel syndrome;
  • Set designated times when you start and end work, just like you did at the office. Schedule breaks and take them at the scheduled time. During your working time, remain focused on your work and ignore or delay any distractions until after your work hours are over. (Unless someone is bleeding, of course.);
  • Train your family that when you’re working, they should not disturb you. The standard we use in our house is that if you would not have called me in the office about it, it should wait until after I am done working; and
  • Unless being on social media is part of your job, stay off of it during working hours. If you feel like you really must check social media, do it during your breaks and keep track of how long you are on it. A quick 5 minutes to check Facebook can easily turn into an hour of surfing around reading stories online.

When returning to the office, according to the Forbes report, here are 10 ways your workplace may change (at least until there is a COVID-19 vaccine):

  1. Temperature checks
  2. Masks
  3. Limited or no open office environment
  4. Staggered arrival time / elevator rides
  5. Fewer in-person client meetings
  6. Reduction or elimination of large group meetings or conferences
  7. Frequent deep cleaning
  8. No buffets or salad bars in the cafeteria
  9. Only certain employees work in an office
  10. No office at all

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