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'Run Toward the Crisis': Some Employers Balk at Remote Work

Plenty of American workers aren't being told to work remotely—even though they could.

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The 2,400 employees at MicroStrategy Inc. make and sell analytics software from the publicly traded company’s offices in Tysons Corner, Virginia, Toronto and elsewhere. On Monday, everyone received a three-page memo from the chief executive, Michael Saylor, urging the staff to “run toward the crisis, not away from it.” The message compared the global spread of the new coronavirus to the flu, an analogy that has been repeatedly contradicted by health experts.

Even in the middle of a national emergency that has prompted authorities across the U.S. to try to prevent gatherings larger than 10 people, MicroStrategy told its employees to be at their desks. “If we wish to maintain our productivity, we need to continue working in these offices,” Saylor wrote. “It is soul-stealing and debilitating to embrace the notion of social distancing and economic hibernation.” (MicroStrategy did not respond to requests for comment. After being contacted by Bloomberg News, Saylor sent a message to employees saying his initial memo was “off-the-mark” and encouraging remote work.)