Orange County Partnership - News

Tech, Communications Firms Studying Effectiveness of Work at Home Policies

Orange County received some welcome news earlier this month when Charter Communications announced it was significantly expanding its Spectrum-residential Internet call center in the Town of Wallkill.


Thanks to COVID-19, those new employees may be working from home at least in the short term.


The Middletown-Times Herald Record reported that the company plans to add 200 workers at the call center that had about 118 workers in January, according to Charter spokeswoman Lara Brookes. The newspaper noted that Charter Communications is looking to add 1,500 workers to its operations in New York State.


Charter’s new hires, hiring and orientation practices have largely been conducted virtually, Brookes said, and the company’s call center workers are being permitted to work from home.


Charter’s hiring is part of a local trend of “people losing jobs in service-based industries and grabbing jobs with tech companies,” and in other areas of the economy that are still strong or growing, Maureen Halahan, president of the Orange County Partnership, told the Middletown Times-Herald Record. As the pandemic reshapes the economy, “We’re going to see a lot of people choosing new careers,” she added.


Charter Communications is one of a growing number of major corporations that are adapting to the new normal and allowing some employees to work at home.


Tech giants Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, and Twitter all sent their workers home during the early days of COVID-19. Twitter announced earlier this month that it will allow some employees to work from home on a permanent basis, according to a report in the Economic Times.


For now, employees of Facebook, Google and Twitter can work from home through 2020. At Microsoft, workers can work at home until October.


“Many companies are learning that their workers are just as or even more productive working from home,” said Andy Challenger, senior vice president of staffing firm Challenger & Christmas.