Last week, Apple announced it wanted employees to return to the Cupertino campus for three days a week starting in September. Some employees who have grown used to the flexibility of working at home pushed back.Prior to the pandemic, with few exceptions, most employees went into an office most days. But when COVID hit in March 2020 and workers were forced home, employers quickly learned that their staff could be productive even when they weren’t sitting in the same building. Now it seems it will be difficult to put the genie back in the bottle. Finding that right balance between fully remote and however a given company defines hybrid — like Apple, some days in the office and some days at home — is never going to be easy, and there will never be a one size fits all answer. In fact, it’s probably going to be fluid moving forward. Just to show how different companies are approaching this, we asked five other large technology companies besides Apple to see how they are treating the return to the office, and each was looking at some form of hybrid work:
- Google is taking a similar approach to Apple, with three days in the office and two days at home. “We’ll move to a hybrid work week where most Googlers spend approximately three days in the office and two days wherever they work best. Since in-office time will be focused on collaboration, your product areas and functions will help decide which days teams will come together in the office. There will also be roles that may need to be on site more than three days a week due to the nature of the work,” Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet wrote in a recent blog post.
- Salesforce is giving employees a broad set of choices depending on their role. Most employees can work at home most of the time, and can come into the office 1-3 days a week to collaborate with colleagues, meet with customers or for presentations. Others who don’t live near an office can be fully remote and those who choose, or whose job requires them to be office-based, may come in 4-5 days a week.
- Facebook is expanding remote work, telling employees, “As of June 15, Facebook will open up remote work to all levels across the company, and anyone whose role can be done remotely can request remote work,” the company wrote to employees.
- Microsoft is leaving it up to managers, but most roles are going to be remote at least part of the time. As they told employees in an announcement recently, “We recognize that some employees are required to be onsite and some roles and businesses are better suited for working away from the worksite than others. However, for most roles, we view working from home part of the time (less than 50%) as now standard – assuming manager and team alignment.”
- Amazon originally was looking at a policy of mostly in-office, but it announced this week that it had decided to offer employees a more flexible work schedule. “Our new baseline will be three days a week in the office (with the specific days being determined by your leadership team), leaving you flexibility to work remotely up to two days a week,” the company wrote in a message to employees.