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No Consistent Home Office Rule in Big Tech Companies

This article is published in collaboration with Statista

by Anna Fleck

Tesla hit headlines earlier this month for what’s now considered a fairly rigid return-to-work policy, as Elon Musk ruffled feathers telling employees that they are expected to be in the office for a minimum of 40 hours a week, adding: “If you don’t show up, we will assume you have resigned.”

While prior to the pandemic it was pretty unusual to work remotely, much has changed over the past two years, and companies both large and small are now trying to fathom how to weigh up productivity with the work-life balance of their employees. But which approach is best? Our chart shows how the question is still up in the air, as tech companies opt for a number of different policies.

On one end of the spectrum, Spotify has said that employees can work from anywhere, so long as there are no time zone difficulties or legal barriers thrown up by their location. Slack and Twitter have taken a similar stance, with the latter stating that employees can choose to work from home “forever”, if they so wish. Netflix, on the other hand, is encouraging employees to return to the office, with co-CEO Reed Hastings telling the Wall Street Journal: “Not being able to get together in person, particularly internationally, is a pure negative.” Instead, he says it’s important that the streaming platform maintains its company culture.

Other companies have chosen to go for a variation of a hybrid business model, however, with Amazon announcing that it will be up to individual teams to decide on the exact number of days employees spend in the office, noting that flexibility depends on the nature of the job. Meta’s Facebook has also said that while all full-time employees can apply to work from home, employees who work in areas such as hardware devices or the company’s data-center infrastructure, would need to be in the office. Meanwhile, Google is following the three days in, two days at home rule, but has also set up possibilities for remote work extensions, the possibility to transfer to a new location, or to apply to continue working remotely, as reported by Reuters.

The data from the past two years show that many employees now desire, and even expect, greater flexibility when it comes to their daily work schedule. A survey carried out by McKinsey this year reveals that among employed respondents given the option to work remotely, 87 percent of those would take employers up on that offer. The same report also finds that one of the top three reasons employees looked for a new job was for a flexible working arrangement, following better pay or hours and better career opportunities.

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