Intel Suggests Some Employees Work From Home In Response To Coronavirus

'We will continue to put our employees' welfare and customers' needs front and center in all our decision-making,' Intel CEO Bob Swan says of the measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.


Intel is recommending some employees to work from home and taking other measures for employees and contractors in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company announced the new work-from-home recommendation on Friday for employees whose roles allow for that flexibility while announcing several other measures. For employees who need to work on-site, such as those working at Intel's manufacturing sites, the chipmaker said it has put social distancing policies into place, such as reducing seating capacity in cafeterias and limiting in-person meeting attendance.

[Related: AMD CEO: Coronavirus Will Have 'Modest' Impact, Guidance Unchanged]

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The new precautions and measures were announced after an Intel employee who visited the company's Chandler, Ariz., campus reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month, according to a company statement provided to Arizona news station KTAR News on Tuesday.

In announcing the measures to protect employees and contractors on Friday, Intel CEO Bob Swan thanked them for their support and for "their understanding of the unusual demands this situation has placed upon many of our sites and people."

"We will continue to put our employees' welfare and customers' needs front and center in all our decision-making," he said in a statement. "Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. I am very proud of how we are living our One Intel values."

Among the other measures announced, Intel said it will continue to pay in hourly workers — as well as hourly workers employed by Intel service partners, at least for the next two weeks — in full, "regardless of changes to service levels" due to Intel's remote-work and social distancing policies. The company also said employees and contractors asked to work from home or self-quarantine due to travel restrictions will continue to receive regular pay.

To address the unexpected costs associated with backup childcare or elder care, Intel said the company will reimburse employees for up to 15 days of care services when there are school or care center closures or when an employee or family member needs to be self-quarantined.

Because Intel offices remain open for employees who work in labs and factories, the company said it has contracted services to step up cleaning of facilities several times a day.

"At Intel, maintaining clean and safe facilities is core to how we operate," Intel said.

As for the company's overall operations, Intel reiterated comments made by CFO George Davis at a recent Morgan Stanley conference, saying that while the situation remains fluid, "the company continues to operate on a relatively normal basis around the world," which includes manufacturing sites in Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico and California as well as Ireland, Israel and China.

But beyond protecting its employees and maintaining operations, the company is also contributing to efforts to understand and combat COVID-19. The company said it has teamed up with Lenovo and Beijing-based BGI Genomics to "accelerate the analysis of genomic characteristics of COVID-19" and that it is looking for more opportunities to help out.