Are We Headed Back to The Office?
It seems like the full-time remote work trend might be coming to an end. After Google and Wells Fargo announced that their employees would be returning to the office, it seems that the future of work is changing. It seemed like remote work was becoming more popular for a while, but now it appears that companies are beginning to realize the importance of in-person collaboration. This shift back to the office raises some interesting questions about the future of work. Will remote work continue to grow in popularity? Or will more companies begin requiring their employees to come into the office?
According to a memo Chief Executive Tim Cook sent workers Friday, Apple Inc. told U.S. employees they would begin returning to the office on April 11.
Apple will begin with a phased approach, in which employees will initially return just one day a week before gradually increasing to three days per week over the summer. The company is still deciding on the ideal scheduling options for its workers.
Alphabet Inc.'s Google recently informed its staff that they would resume working from the office starting April 4. According to Google, employees in the United States will be required to work about three days in the office.
On the other hand, Twitter has informed its staff that it will be up to them where they work when it reopens offices on March 15.
"Wherever you feel the most productive and inventive, that's where you'll work," Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal informed workers in a letter. "Every day at the office? That's fine too. On some days, you can work from the office; on others, you may work from home?" Of course."
On February 28, Microsoft offices reopened for in-person employment. Due to the omicron variant causing COVID cases to grow, Meta postponed its intentions until March 28. Amazon also delayed its plan while eliminating the mask requirement for fully vaccinated employees a month ago, and Apple indefinitely extended its return-to-work deadline.
To put it in perspective, work is not a place you go to but a function that you perform. Office culture is hard to replicate, and it will be up to leaders to adjust and create the new office culture. This will be interesting to assess how the future of work will look like as office mandates may be coming back with big tech leading the way.