Zillow – Never Want To Go Back To The Office? Here’s Where You Should Work
The past year has proven that employees can be just as, if not more, productive working from home as they are working in the office. Now, some employers are moving to capitalize on that realization, making the switch remote work permanent.
Roughly half of U.S. professionals believe their companies will allow them to telecommute at least part of the time after the pandemic, according to LinkedIn’s Workforce Confidence Index. That percentage is even higher in industries including tech (73%), finance (67%) and media (59%), that see flexible work as the future.
Here is a guide to the companies adopting remote or hybrid work models for the long run. We’ll be adding to this guide as the situation develops, so check back for updates.
Though the Australian software company won’t be closing its offices, in an internal blog post published in August, the company told employees they could work from home forever, CNBC reported. Instead of measuring how long staffers work, Atlassian will reportedly measure outcomes, though few details were provided.
The cofounders of credit-card startup Brex sent employees an email in August announcing their remote-first shift. While Henrique Dubugras and Pedro Franceschi said they, and their leadership team, will telecommute most days, offices in major cities will remain open. “Off-sites will be a big part of Brex as a remote-first company. As soon as Covid is over, we’ll have frequent company and team events (i.e. once every ~2 months) focused on building deeper team relationships, rather than heads-down work,” the cofounders wrote. Brex, which adjusts employees’ salaries based on geographic market, also announced that those who relocate to areas where pay rates are different may see their compensation change. For current employees who relocate before September 2021, Brex said it will not make any such adjustments until September 2024.
In May, CEO Brian Armstrong told employees in a company-wide email that they’ll be able to choose whether they work from home or in the office after the pandemic ends. His vision, he said, is to have one floor of office space in 10 cities, rather than 10 floors of office space in one city. “Part of the vision for Coinbase is to create a world with more economic freedom, and not being tied to one location is a key part of this,” Armstrong wrote. “A mix of in-office and remote work allows us to ‘de-risk’ centralizing too much in a single location.”
The file hosting service said it would become a “virtual first” company in October, adding that when it’s safe to gather in person, it will launch collaborative spaces called Dropbox Studios in locations where it currently has offices, starting with San Francisco, Seattle, Austin, and Dublin. Dropbox also announced it would be embracing “non-linear workdays” allowing employees to design their own schedules.
In July, the pharmaceutical company announced a shift from manager-approved remote work to manager-informed remote work, meaning employees can choose to work how, when and where they want. Novartis also said it would be expanding its mental health benefits as part of this initiative.
The global information technology company announced in February that it would make its entire workforce fully remote. “We feel confident in giving our team freedom in managing their time because of the amount of trust we place in them,” Human Resources Vice President Ragini Sidhu said in a statement. “This trust comes from designing a workforce that brings the human element into the organization and establishes a solid work/life balance.”
The Q&A website announced in June that it had adopted a remote-first model, noting that 60% of its employees had chosen to work from home beyond Covid-19. Quora will convert its office in Mountain View, California, into a co-working space for employees, though CEO Adam D’Angelo said he would not visit more than once a month. His only requirement: Employees must turn their cameras on for all virtual meetings.
Just two months into working from home, Twitter announced the change would be permanent for many. In an email, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said all employees—except those in jobs requiring a physical presence, such as maintaining servers— would be allowed to work from home forever, BuzzFeed News reported.
Tobi Lütke, the CEO of Canadian e-commerce company Shopify, was quick to announce a permanent switch to remote work. In May, he tweeted, “We will keep our offices closed until 2021 so that we can rework them for this new reality. And after that, most will permanently work remotely. Office centricity is over.” The company is also running an experiment to learn more about the effect of teleworking on energy usage and carbon emissions.
Not only has Slack given most employees the option to work from home permanently, but it announced in June plans to increasingly hire remote-first workers. Robby Kwok, senior vice president of people, wrote about how Slack is rethinking its offices, predicting “fewer amenities such as catered lunches and coffee bars, less focus on in-person meetings with colleagues, and more options for focused solo work.”
The music streaming company announced its “Work From Anywhere” policy in February, offering employees a choice of working fully from home, from the office or a combination of the two. Spotify also pledged to give workers more flexibility on which locations they chose to work in. If employees choose to work from locations that aren’t near a Spotify office, the company said it would offer them a co-working space membership if they want to work from an office.
A week after Twitter’s remote-work announcement, Dorsey’s second company followed suit. As with Twitter, Square’s policy applies to employees who are physically able to do their jobs remotely, the Verge reported in May.
The public online freelance marketplace, which primarily provides remote job listings, decided this year to practice what it preaches. In May, newly minted CEO Hayden Brown tweeted that Upwork would permanently embrace a “remote-first” model.
Zillow announced in July that it would offer 90% of its employees flexible-work options permanently. Dan Spaulding, Zillow’s chief people officer, said employees of the real estate marketplace will be allowed “to work where they are most productive, whether that is in the office, their home, or a combination of both.”
In a June 2020 return to work preference survey, 95% of Ford employees said they would prefer to maintain a mix of remote and in-office work when the pandemic ends. The automaker listened, and announced on March 17 its transition to a hybrid work model globally for non-place dependent workers. In the U.S., these Ford employees can return to the office no earlier than July (if they choose) for small team gatherings.
The tech company said in December that it would be testing a “flexible workweek” once it’s safe to return to the office, according to an email obtained by the New York Times. Google employees would be required to work in the office at least three days a week.
Starting in January 2021, employees of the customer relationship management software company will be given three options: work in the office, work from home or adopt a hybrid model. Those who choose the hybrid model will come into the office no more than two days a week and will be allocated a “hotel desk.” All employees will have the chance to change their arrangement once a year. In 2021, the company’s goal will be for 70% of job openings to be for location-agnostic roles.
In April, the financial software company announced it would establish a hybrid work model beginning in August 2021, after a survey in which just 14% of Intuit employees said they would have preferred a full-time remote work model. Employees will have the option to work from Intuit sites two to three days per week, the company said.
By the end of the summer, the “buy now, pay later” fintech company plans to roll out a hybrid work model where employees will work two days in the office. Each team will have designated office days so that colleagues can work or sit together and collaborate in person, the company says. For the remaining three days, teams and individual employees will decided whether they’d like to work remotely or not.
Microsoft announced greater flexibility around its remote work policies in October. An internal memo obtained by the Verge revealed that employees would be allowed to telecommute up to 50% of the workweek, or get their managers’ approval to permanently work remotely.
The insurance giant announced in April that it would be closing many of its smaller offices across the country, allowing many employees to work from home permanently. Nationwide will continue to operate four corporate offices in central Ohio; Des Moines, Iowa; Scottsdale, Arizona; and San Antonio, Texas.
In October, Reddit said it will grant employees the flexibility to decide where they work in the future: in the office, remotely or a combination of the two. However, there are some exceptions, including roles in facilities and IT that need to be performed in the office. The company also announced a reimagined approach to compensation in the U.S., eliminating geographic compensation zones. “Our U.S. compensation will be tied to pay ranges of high-cost areas such as SF and NY, regardless of where employees live,” the company said.
After surveying employees, Salesforce learned that 80% of its workers want to maintain a connection to a physical office space. In February, the software company announced it would permanently switch to three ways of working: fully-remote, office-based or flex. The majority of Salesforce employees will work on this flex-policy, meaning they will work in the office one to three days a week for team collaboration, customer meetings and presentations.
German manufacturing company Siemens announced in July that its employees can telecommute two or three days a week after the pandemic ends. The new model applies to more than 140,000 of the company’s employees in 43 countries.