Is Big Tech quitting work at home?


A woman calling with a laptop in front of her. A young boy is sitting near her and looking at a tablet.

A woman calling with a laptop in front of her. A young boy is sitting near her and looking at a tablet.

Last Wednesday, Google’s Fiona Cicconi wrote to a company employee.

She announced that Google has advanced the schedule for returning people to the office.

As of September 1, she said an employee who wanted to work from home for more than 14 days You need to apply to do so..

Employees were also expected to “live within commuting distance” from the office. Then there is no beach cocktail with a laptop.

The intention was very clear. Of course, you can work more flexibly than before, but most people still have to come to the office.

The idea seemed to fly in the face of many of the things Silicon Valley executives heard when defending the virtues of remotework last year.

For example, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey Headlines around the world in May last year when he said “Twitter employees can now work from home forever.”

After Covid, Silicon Valley’s “New Normal” was speculated to be a workforce focused on remote work, with minimal staff required by tech companies in the field.

It looks like it won’t happen more and more.

And if you really see the statement made by the tech boss, some of the nuances have been skirted by the press.

For example, when Dorsey said he could work from home “forever,” he added, “if he has a role and situation that allows him to work from home.” It was.

It was a pretty important “if”.

In fact, Twitter has revealed that the majority of its staff expects to work from home or in the office.

Almost all Silicon Valley tech companies say they are currently working on “flexible” or “hybrid” tasks.

The problem is that these terms can mean almost anything.

Is that Friday a holiday? Or is it a completely different partnership with the physical store?

Man works with a laptop bag and a medical mask

Man works with a laptop bag and a medical mask

Microsoft envisions “working from home (less than 50%) as the standard for most roles” in the future.

The word “less than 50%” has plenty of room for maneuverability.

Amazon also issued a statement Comments to Employees Last Week: “Our plan is to return to an office-centric culture as our baseline, which allows us to invent, collaborate and learn together most effectively. I believe I can do it. “

That doesn’t exactly support the new era of telecommuting.

What hesitates is that while many employees want more flexibility, it’s still unclear what model works for the enterprise.

“Not all of us understand this,” said Carolyn Everson, vice president of Facebook’s global business group, when talking about current telecommuting arrangements.

“We are making this on the fly.”

Remote and attractive

Prithwiraj Choudhury, a professor at Harvard Business School and an advocate for telecommuting, states that tech companies have long been a pioneer in telecommuting.

“Early adopters and companies that adopt this model and build their organization around that remote work model have significant advantages in attracting talent,” he says.

That is certainly hope.

No tech company can lose talented employees to its rivals and give them more flexibility to work.

Companies like Spotify now seem to have some of the most “flexible” labor practices for their staff.

In a recent statement “Our employees can work full-time from home, in the office, or a combination of the two.

“The exact combination of home and office work modes is a decision that each employee and his manager make together.”

But it added: “Some adjustments may be made along the way.”

As a result, Spotify’s definition of flextime is very different from Google’s definition, and Google’s definition is also very different from Amazon’s definition.

Young salaryman masked looking at his laptop in an office setting

Young salaryman masked looking at his laptop in an office setting

Working from home when the office isn’t open is one thing. But the biggest test of working from home is when the office begins to open. For example, if the capacity is 50%.

Does dynamic work very well if the meeting is held partly directly and partly with zoom?

Also, would remote workers find it disadvantageous if some team members had a face-to-face relationship with the manager?

IBM announced the proposed remote work system last week. Eighty percent of our employees work in the office at least three days a week.

Arvind Krishna, IBM’s CEO, said:

“If they want to be HR managers, increase responsibilities, or build a culture within the team, how do we do that remotely?” He asked.

Interestingly, tech companies are taking different approaches, trying to find out what works and what doesn’t.

And, like many modern lives, other businesses overlook the west coast of the United States to see what’s working and what’s not working here.

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