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Coronavirus Is Taking Its Toll on Tech's Unforgiving Work Culture


April 29, 2020

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The coronavirus pandemic has pushed the world into a mass experiment in working from home. But with schools and day care centers closed around the United States, tech companies are facing a challenging test: family.

The nonstop work culture that led many tech companies to offer free food cafeterias and onsite oil changes is running up against the realities of child care and other family care in self-quarantine at home. The unspoken agreement that all those benefits came in exchange for long and grueling work hours is falling apart at home.

"The notion of the overwork culture in Silicon Valley happens because innovation is really hard," says Paul Saffo, an adjunct professor at Stanford University. "But now that the climate has changed, we have a whole new set of issues."

More than half of the 6,163 working parents surveyed by Blind earlier this month said they felt their work wasn't being fairly compared to that of their colleagues during the crisis. As a result, 61% of them, including employees from Google and Facebook, said they're putting in at least three extra hours each day to complete their work.

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