Although the transition to remote working was rapid for many organizations due to the Covid-19 pandemic, working from home is now the future of many offices, with or without a pandemic. Lessons from the past year prove that employees are just as productive, if not more so, when working from home.
Several companies today are capitalizing on this movement by making permanent switches to remote working. Leading the change is Twitter, whose CEO Jack Dorsey announced early on during the pandemic that employees could remain working from home “forever.” The company has systematically implemented new strategies and policies towards creating a more flexible and autonomous work culture for its employees.
Emma Muller from Harper HR also recognizes this trend, nothing that there is “a clear pattern where companies are realizing the benefits of allowing their employees to work from home. From reduced rent on the company side, to removing the stress of commuting and childcare for employees, remote work has benefits for both employer and employee.” In addition, the work-from-home option has become a requirement for many candidates who are no longer willing to compromise on flexibility.
The “fully-remote” employee
Access to technology has enabled smooth transitions to a new workspace order. Companies observed not only increased employee satisfaction and productivity but also the immense possibility for cost savings. Remote working offered potential savings from exorbitant long-term office leases and associated expenditures.
On the other hand, employees welcomed the opportunity to avoid long commutes, be available for their children as schooling went remote, or take care of family members affected by the Coronavirus.
Twitter’s announcement prompted several other organizations to rethink and adopt remote working as the norm. Below is a list of companies adopting fully-remote or hybrid work models in the foreseeable future.
File-sharing pioneer Dropbox will allow all employees to work from home permanently. Their existing office space will become Dropbox Studios, where employees can go to work, should they wish.
Quora has adopted a remote-first model after noting that over 60 percent of its employees chose to work from home beyond the pandemic. The popular Q&A website plans to convert its offices in Mountain View, California, into a co-working space for employees.
Slack has offered most employees the option to work from home permanently. The business communication company also announced that it would prioritize the hiring of remote-first workers.
Spotify has introduced a “Work from Anywhere” policy. The company is offering its employees the option of working from the office, permanently from home, or a mix of the two. The music-streaming company also gives employees the flexibility to choose office locations, with the option of a co-working space membership if they are not near a Spotify office.
Automobile giant Ford conducted a return-to-work preference survey in June 2020. The survey showed that 95% of Ford employees preferred a mix of remote and in-office work when pandemic restrictions lifted. The company has subsequently started its transition to a global hybrid work model for non-place dependent workers. Should employees choose to, they can occasionally work out of offices for small team gatherings.
Australian software company Atlassian published an internal blog post telling employees they can permanently work from home.
Coinbase offers cryptocurrency services that support open-source digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum. It is now a “remote-first” company that allows most staff to work from home indefinitely. Employees who wish to return can choose between working some or all of their working hours at the office.