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Tech Companies Have Spoken: The Office is Back (and hybrid!)

hybrid offices
Becky Chariton
Published on

The office is back! As COVID-19 cases decline across the country, we’ve seen more and more companies roll out their return to office plans defining what the future of work will look for their employees.

As companies announce their return, we’ll be on the lookout for new and innovative plans we can share. We know employees are interested in flexible work schedules and hybrid work environments, so we’re eager to see what companies come up with to re-establish collaboration in the office, while also supporting employees who want to be remote.

To start – here’s a list of some major tech companies who have set a return date and released their plans (all in the past few weeks!):

1. Google

As Google reopens their offices, they will end their voluntary work-from-home period and transition to a hybrid work week. Most employees will be asked to return to the office at least 3 days a week. Offices will plan to follow local guidance on masks and testing, and vaccinations will remain a requirement, unless employees have approved accommodations.

While many employees do not wish to return to the office, Google is committed to embracing in person work again. They are offering employees the chance to virtually meet with counselors during this transition, as well as the option to extend their work from home period if needed.  In his email, Casey notes that “nearly 14,000” employees have been given approval to work remotely, so while the company is strongly encouraging employees to return, they’re also willing to find realistic solutions for everyone.

“We do think it’s important to get people in a few days a week, but we are embracing all options,” he said. “I think we can be more purposeful about the time they’re in, making sure group meetings or collaboration, creative collaborative brainstorming or community building, happens then.” - Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google

2. Twitter

Twitter’s offices will reopen on March 15th, and CEO Parag Agrawal is dedicated to providing flexibility to his employees. In a company wide email, Argawal reminds employees of the advantages of being together in the same physical location, but ensures remote work will remain an option.

He notes that as the world readjusts to a new normal employees will be the ones to decide if they feel comfortable working in the office, traveling, or attending in-person events: “Where you feel most productive and creative is where you will work and that includes working from home full-time forever.”

3. Apple

Starting April 11, Apple will require employees to return to the office at least 1 day a week. Apple is taking a phased approach in their return, and by late May plan to have all employees in the office 3 days a week with Wednesdays and Fridays operating as flexible days. CEO Tim Cook is looking forward to reigniting the “collaboration and camaraderie” that comes with in-person meetings and events. 

4. Microsoft

Microsoft’s Washington state offices fully reopened to employees, visitors, and guests on February 28, 2022 after they saw a decline in COVID-19 cases in the area. Employees at Microsoft were given “30 days to make adjustments to their routines and adopt the working preferences they’ve agreed upon with their managers.”

For the past 2 years Microsoft has implemented a hybrid work policy, empowering employees to decide how and where they work best, and this flexibility will continue to be utilized by the company moving forward. In their announcement they note “We know there’s not a singular solution to how people work best, which is why we believe flexibility should be at the forefront of our evolving hybrid workplace.”

5. Expedia

Expedia has also chosen to implement a hybrid work policy starting April 4th. They will continue to require their employees to be vaccinated, and are expecting employees to “spend at least 50% of their time in the office,” but understand the need for flexibility at this time and are adopting a “team-led” approach when deciding schedules.

Hybrid Work is Here to Stay

With these big industry players returning to the office, we expect to see other companies following in their footsteps over the next several weeks.

It’s clear that the office as we know it is evolving and becoming a more inclusive and accessible place. Hybrid work environments, and flexible schedules and hours are helping companies support a work-life balance for their employees.

Interested in providing a flexible work style to your employees? Check out our demo to learn more.

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Does your office collaboration need a reboot?

Find out if your workplace strategy is a hit or a miss.

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