Agrawal didn’t suggest this arrangement would be easy or frictionless. Compared with having everyone working at home, “distributed working will be much, much harder. Anyone who has joined a meeting remotely while others are in a conference room knows this pain,” he said. “There will be lots of challenges in the coming months, and we’ll need to be proactive, intentional, learn, and adapt. We’re in this together, and we each play a role in the open, inclusive, and productive culture we want to create.”

The takeaway: Agrawal’s tenure has just begun, but he has passed an early test of company culture. And unlike his choice to take paternity leave as CEO (cue the applause!) for only a few weeks (really?), he is not taking a half-measure with his return-to-office policy.

Agrawal is putting employees’ needs first, knowing that a work-from-anywhere policy would require more effort from Twitter’s managers and leadership team, not only its employees. He is allowing employees to make decisions for themselves. He is also minimizing the amount of time employees and teams spend debating the merits of going remote-first or meeting in the office once per week, or returning to the office full-time.

More than that, he is choosing a workplace structure that will, in a sense, mirror the company’s aspirations within the marketplace as it moves toward decentralization. Twitter is moving away from the walled-garden tech platform model in a process that could take years. As it does this, it’s appropriate to let go of a conventional office model, to relax the corporate grip on employees’ lives and routines, and to forge a path forward.

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