SAN FRANCISCO — Technology companies that led the charge into remote work as the pandemic unfurled are confronting a new challenge: how, when, and even whether they shouldto offices designed for teamwork. “I thought this period of would be the most challenging year-and-half of my career, but it’s not,” said Brent Hyder, the chief people officer for business software maker Salesforce and its roughly 65,000 employees worldwide. “Getting everything started it needs to be is proving even more difficult.”
That transition has been complicated by the rapid spread of the delta variant, which has scrambled many technear or after Labor Day weekend. Microsoft has to October, while Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, and a growing list of others have already decided to wait until next year.
Given how they set the tone for remote work, tech companies’ return-to-office policies will likely have ripple effects work being temporary,” Boudreau says. She has stretched, the harder it’s become to tell employees to return to the office, particularly full-time.. Employers’ could redefine how and where people work, predicts Laura Boudreau, a Columbia University assistant economics professor who studies workplace issues. “We have moved beyond the theme of remote
Most tech jobs are tailor-made for remote work because they typically revolve around digital and online products. Yet, most prominent tech companies insist that their employees should be ready to work in the office two or three days each week after the pandemic is over.
The main reason is:that employees clustered together in physical space will swap ideas and spawn innovations that probably wouldn’t have happened in isolation. That’s one of dollars into corporate campuses interspersed with desirable common areas meant to lure employees out of their cubicles and into “casual collisions” that turn into brainstorming sessions. But the
concept of “water cooler innovation” may be overblown, says Christy Lake, chief people officer for business software maker Twilio. “There is no data that supports that happens in can’t put the genie back in the bottle and tell people, ‘Oh, you have to be back in the office, or innovation won’t happen.’ “ Twilio isn’t bringing most of its roughly 6,300 employees back to its offices until early next year at the earliest and plans to allow most of them to figure how frequently they should come in., and yet we all subscribe to it,” Lake says. “You