Twitter tells workers at Asia HQ to clear desks, work from home

Another cost cutting measure for social media platform

Elon Musk and the CapitaGreen building at 138 Market Street in Singapore (Google Maps, Getty)
Elon Musk and the CapitaGreen building at 138 Market Street in Singapore (Google Maps, Getty)

Twitter’s efforts to trim expenses appear to have extended beyond cutting down on office space (and toilet paper) in San Francisco.

The social media company, which was acquired by Elon Musk for $44 billion in October 2022, told employees at its Singapore office to pack up, leave the premises and work from home, Bloomberg reported.

The Singapore-based staff have been reassigned as remote workers in Twitter’s internal system until further notice, the outlet reported, citing unnamed employees close to the situation.

The Singapore office at the CapitaGreen building at 138 Market Street, serves as the company’s Asia-Pacific headquarters.

The office, much like the company’s global headquarters in San Francisco, has been subject to significant cuts — including the layoff of the region’s head of site integrity Nur Azhar Bin Ayob — since Musk took over.

A spokesperson for CapitaLand, the owner of CapitaGreen, told Bloomberg that Twitter is still a tenant.

However, a tweet from journalist Casey Newton cited “nonpayment of rent” as the reason why Twitter employees were reportedly walked out of the Asia-Pacific headquarters.

The social media platform has gone on a global spree of cost-cutting measures, including downsizing office space at 1355 Market Street in San Francisco from six floors to two, following reportedly missing rent payments.

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The company has also laid off thousands of workers, including 800 based in San Francisco, weeks after it was acquired by Musk.

On Jan. 6, Twitter laid off at least 12 workers in its Singapore and Dublin offices who were members of the trust and safety team that handles global content moderation, Bloomberg reported.

That’s on the heels of other deep cuts, which include the shutdown of critical servers in Sacramento, with some employees forced to work on Christmas Eve to fix internal systems that went offline.

The company also surrendered its Seattle office after facing eviction and reportedly has plans to ditch its New York office in Chelsea.

In early December, San Francisco’s Department of Building Inspection opened an investigation into Twitter’s headquarters after a complaint alleged Twitter set up bedrooms for employees, purportedly under Musk’s intense-work dictate.

The cuts even reached basic office-cleaning tasks.

Musk fired the entire janitorial staff that went on strike in early December, which resulted in a malodorous environment and led employees, for at least a brief period, to bring in their own toilet paper, the New York Times reported, citing anonymous sources inside the company.

Musk, responding on Twitter, said employees only had to bring their own bath tissue for “half a day.”

— Ted Glanzer