Spotify tells employees they can work from home until 2021

As the coronavirus-induced lockdown begins to ease in Europe and the U.S. and people begin to confront the realities of returning to a changed office environment, Spotify has told its employees in all territories that they are free to work from home until next year.

A rep for the company confirmed the policy to Variety and noted that the company plans to take a phased approach to returning to its offices and following local guidelines, but that returning to the workplace is at employees’ discretion for the remainder of the year. The news was first reported by Music Business Worldwide.

Spotify joins other internet companies extending work-from-home policies through the end of 2020, including Facebook and Google. Meanwhile, other companies including Twitter will let staffers work from home indefinitely if they are able to.

According to its latest annual fiscal report, Spotify employed 4,405 people on a full-time basis worldwide in 2019, with 2,121 in the United States and 1,437 in Sweden, and has “offices and/or operations in 79 countries and territories around the world.”

In its earnings report last month, the company said it will slow hiring for the rest of 2020 “until we have better visibility into the economic impact of COVID-19,” and has reduced open headcount by roughly 30% from prior growth expectations. Even so, Spotify says it’s still hiring and headcount is projected to increase 15% for the year, according to a spokesperson. At the end of Q1, the company had 5,779 full-time employees globally.

Content consumption on Spotify’s streaming platform has been dramatically affected by the COVID-19 crisis — with usage initially down in areas affected by lockdown orders — but the company saw a rebound in active listeners in Q1.

Spotify lowered full-year revenue outlook on uncertainty introduced by the coronavirus pandemic: It’s now expecting €7.65 billion-€8.05 billion in sales ($8.29 billion to $8.73 billion at current exchange rates), down from €8.08 billion-€8.48 billion.

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