As certain tech companies like Twitter prefer their employees to work from home forever, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has warned that making remote work permanent could have serious consequences for social interaction and mental health for workers as virtual video calls cannot replace in-person meetings. In an interaction with The New York Times, Nadella said that an all-remote setup would be "replacing one dogma with another dogma".
"What does burnout look like? What does mental health look like? What do 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 was quoted as saying.
His comment came after Twitter granted an option to his staff to work from home 'forever' even after the COVID-19 pandemic ends. Twitter upped the ante after Facebook, Alphabet (Google) and others have asked their employees to work from home till year-end.
Microsoft has extended its work-from-home policy until at least October. The tech giant's stock price is up 14 per cent this year and the company has nearly $140 billion in cash. Microsoft spent $10 billion in its most recent quarter on share buybacks and dividends, up more than 30 per cent from the year before.
"We're going to boldly allocate and acquire, build, innovate, partner, whatever," said Nadella. "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".
Microsoft last week signed a definitive agreement to acquire UK-based Metaswitch Networks, a leading provider of virtualised network software and voice, data and communications solutions for operators, for an undisclosed sum.
The company also launched new solutions designed to help Indian small and medium businesses (SMBs) maintain business continuity and embark on their Cloud adoption journeys amid the COVID-19 crisis.