Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told employees at a meeting on Tuesday that they may work from home up till June 2021. However, the move is not a mandate, meaning workers will be allowed to return to offices if they open before then.
Uber is not alone, Google and many other tech companies are extending their remote-work timeline. Most of them have either extended it until the end of 2020, or haven’t finalized a date. Amazon and Apple have asked that workers return in January, while Twitter has allowed employees to work from home “forever” if they wish. Going forward more companies may follow the trend and extend the timelines for the bulk of their employees as the vaccine for COVID-19 is still in production.
Work-from-home model is here to stay
Work from home is the new workplace reality, especially for tech companies and other functions which can very well be managed from home. Both employers and employees are realizing the benefits of working remotely. In the past, this model of work was framed primarily as a choice, incentive, or convenience for target groups. Today it is being explored as a more sustainable option that benefits not only the employees but also the employers and the environment at large. If designed well, a work from home model can offer several benefits, better work-life balance for employees, less cost for employers, and less travel will benefit the environment. But for designing an efficient work from home model, organizations have to focus on building a robust infrastructure and work on areas like digital collaboration, and data security and connectivity are only a part of this design.
In a recent interview with People Matters, David Calkins, the Regional Managing Principal of Asia Pacific and Middle East for Gensler had shared, "We surveyed all the staff in our region—for me that is the Asia Pacific and Middle East, extending from Sydney to Tokyo, Bangalore, and Abu Dhabi—and we found that the majority of our people, 68 percent, were satisfied or highly satisfied about working from home."
While employees are satisified with the work-from-home setup, they also miss going to work and socializing. To retain this positive sentiment for remote working model, businesses have to undergo a great reset and adapt to more digitized workflows and create an inclusive culture that goes beyond the walls of office.