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Permanent work from home can be damaging for mental health of employees, says Satya Nadella

Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, in an interview, has said that permanently working from home can be damaging for mental health.

twitter-logoYasmin Ahmed | May 18, 2020 | Updated 18:23 IST
(Source: Reuters)

Highlights

  • Satya Nadella said that permanently working from home can be damaging for social interaction and mental health.
  • Nadella emphasised that virtual video calls cannot replace in-person meetings.
  • This comment came just days after Twitter allowed its employees to work from home permanently.

Coronavirus caused most employees across the world to work from home through the first quarter. As lockdowns across the world are getting relaxed gradually, employees are being asked to resume to their offices.

Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella said that permanently working from home can be damaging for social interaction and mental health for workers. Nadella in an interview with NYT said the all-remote setup would be "replacing one dogma with another dogma."

Nadella emphasised that virtual video calls cannot replace in-person meetings. "What I miss is when you walk into a physical meeting, you are talking to the person that is next to you, you're able to connect with them for the two minutes before and after," Nadella said.

"What does burnout look like? What does mental health look like? What does that connectivity and the community building look like? One of the things I feel is, hey, maybe we are burning some of the social capital we built up in this phase where we are all working remote. What's the measure for that?" Nadella said.

Microsoft has extended its work-from-home policy until at least October.

"We're going to boldly allocate and acquire, build, innovate, partner, whatever. We are also going to make sure that we have the ability to do credit for small businesses and other organizations that need that help," Nadella said.

Even with Coronavirus in the backdrop, Microsoft has not felt that great an impact as per its latest financial report. The tech giant's stock price is up 14 percent this year, NYT noted.

Nadella's comment came just days after Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey allowed Twitter employees to work from home.

Twitter, earlier this week, said that the past few months have proven that work from home works in their case. "So if our employees are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, we will make that happen."

Twitter's blog noted that those keen to return to Twitter's office will be their warm and welcoming selves, "with some additional precautions."

Apple and Google have said that they can allow their employees to work from home until the end of 2020.

Apple CEO, Tim Cook in a Town Hall meeting said, "We don't envision, at least today, everyone going back at the same time. It may be different teams go back at a different time, it may be people within a team go back at different times."

Facebook, too, said that its employees would resume offices in staggered waves.


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