Coronavirus: Twitter tells staff to work from home

Twitter has told its employees work from home help stop the spread of the .

a blog post, the social giant said it was mandatory for staff Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea work remotely.

The company also said it was “strongly encouraging” all of its 5,000 employees around the world not come into work.

It comes a day after the firm banned all non-essential business travel and events for its workers.

The company had already announced that it was pulling out of this month’s South by Southwest conference Austin, Texas.

Twitter’s head of human resources Jennifer Christie said: “Our goal is to lower the probability of the spread of the Covid-19 for – and the world around .”

The post also highlighted that Twitter has been developing ways to work from home for some time: “ this is a big change for , we have already been moving towards a more distributed workforce that’s increasingly remote. We’re a global service and we’re committed to anyone, anywhere to work Twitter.”

Twitter’s chief executive Jack Dorsey has long-supported remote working and November announced plans to live for up to six months of this year.

The move is similar to measures put in place by many companies in Asia as the virus sweeps the region, but goes further than most big American businesses as they respond to the outbreak.

Other leading technology companies, including and , have postponed or cancelled conferences in the . has also joined Twitter by pulling out of South by Southwest.

Staff ’s European headquarters in Dublin will work from home on Tuesday as the company tests its preparedness for a potential outbreak in Ireland, but most of the 8,000 workers are expected to return to their desks on Wednesday.

the same time companies, including telecoms operator A&T and banking giant Citigroup, have restricted international travel, especially to Asia.

The announcement comes as deaths due to the around the world have passed 3,000 as the outbreak spreads from Asia to the US, Europe and the Middle East.