COVID-19 Crisis Already Driving Tech Firms to Remote-Work Policies

The emergence of COVID-19 has forced governments and companies worldwide to adjust their operations. Among tech companies large and small, there’s suddenly a very intense debate over whether employees should work from home in order to minimize the chances of infection. 

Blind, which conducts anonymous surveys on a regular basis, recently asked technologists about remote work and their companies’ COVID-19 response. (It’s worth noting that these surveys aren’t the most scientific, if only because there’s no way to verify if an anonymous respondent actually works for a particular company; nonetheless, this data gives some idea of employee sentiment on particular issues.) If we take this data at face value, it’s clear that many technologists at some of the nation’s largest tech companies are already working from home out of an abundance of caution. 

Here’s Blind’s breakdown of how many technologists are working from home; it conducted this survey between March 4-5, before the current week’s news about the virus’s continuing spread throughout the United States and other countries:

Based on Blind’s data, technologists seem all over the place about whether they’re satisfied with their companies’ response. At Uber and Google, for example, there seems to be a lot of dissatisfaction; but at Microsoft, LinkedIn and Expedia, folks appear somewhat happier:

In a related question, a lot of folks are also hesitant to travel to the office as long as we’re in the grips of a pandemic:

Fears over COVID-19 have forced the shutdown of South by Southwest (SXSW), Mobile World Congress (MWC), and Google’s big I/O conference. Whether Apple will continue to hold WWDC, its developer conference typically scheduled for summer, is still an open question.

Dice’s 2020 Salary Report revealed that a large majority of technologists (93 percent) want to work remotely at least some of the time. Despite that overwhelming desire, though, only 60 percent of respondents had the opportunity to actually work from home. Will the spread of COVID-19 change that, both in the short- and long-term?

For more COVID-19 content, check out the COVID-19 Jobs Resource Center.