A vow to work “extended hours at high intensity” was rejected by hundreds of Twitter employees on Thursday, endangering the company’s capacity to continue operations and sparking urgent discussions among management over who should be invited back, according to current and former workers.
According to multiple media reports, Elon Musk, the site’s new owner, gave staff until 5 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday to sign a vow to work harder or accept three months’ worth of severance compensation, which sparked the problem.
According to the people, hundreds of Twitter employees looked to have made the decision to leave with their severance compensation as the deadline drew near. It is stated that Twitter then informed employees via email that “our office buildings” would be closing and that employee badge access would be disabled until Monday.
Musk relaxed a return-to-office order he had issued a week ago, informing staff on Thursday that they would be permitted to work remotely provided their supervisors said they were making “an good contribution”—an early indication that the number of individuals reluctant to sign was higher than anticipated.
One current employee and a recently fired employee who is still in touch with Twitter coworkers claimed that Musk was meeting with a few high-ranking employees to try and persuade them to stay.
Uncertainty surrounds the number of workers who have opted to stay, but the statistics show that some employees are reluctant to stick in a business where Musk has swiftly fired half the workforce, including top management, and is ruthlessly transforming the culture to stressful long hours and a fast pace.
A call for comment from Twitter went unanswered because it has lost a lot of its communication staff.
Numerous engineers who are in charge of addressing issues and averting service interruptions are leaving, which raises concerns about the platform’s resilience in the face of the workforce loss.
One person with knowledge of the situation claimed that on Thursday night, the version of the Twitter app used by staff started to slow down. This person predicted that the public version of Twitter was in danger of going down overnight.
The source, who wished to remain anonymous out of concern for retaliation, stated, “If it does break, there is no one left to fix things in many retributions.”
About 50 Twitter employees participated in a secret Signal discussion, and the former employee claims that nearly 40 of them announced their decision to resign.
Additionally, a new channel called “voluntary-layoff” was joined by roughly 360 people in a secret Slack group for Twitter’s current and past employees, according to a person with knowledge of the Slack group.
Staff members were asked to predict the proportion of users who will stop using Twitter in a separate survey on Blind. More than half of those polled predicted that at least 50% of workers would quit.
On Thursday, when Twitter staff members bid their farewells, blue hearts and salute emojis filled the social media platform and its internal chat rooms for the second time in two weeks.
Even though each resignation could not be independently verified, by 6 p.m. eastern time, more than a dozen Twitter employees from around the US and Europe had announced their resignation in publicly viewable Twitter messages that Reuters had looked at.
Musk sent an email to Twitter staff early on Wednesday morning with the following message: “Going forward, to build a breakthrough Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive market, we will need to be incredibly hardcore.”
If employees wished to stay, they were asked to respond “yes” to an email. The email stated that those who did not reply by Thursday at 5 p.m. Eastern time would be deemed to have resigned and awarded a severance payout.