There are companies working from home until 2021 — or forever

New York (CNN) The coronavirus pandemic has forced many companies to embrace work-from-home solutions. For some, the transition may stick.

Several big businesses plan to let much of their staff work from home permanently, even after the pandemic. Working from home could become the new normal — at least for some…
Some employees won’t return to their offices until at least 2021, while others might not ever see their office again.
Twitter got the ball rolling in mid-May when it announced that some of its employees could permanently work from home. And just last week, Google announced that its employees will work from home until 2021.
“I hope this will offer the flexibility you need to balance work with taking care of yourselves and your loved ones over the next 12 months,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in a memo to employees, a copy of which was obtained by CNN Business.
These decisions are coming at a time when childcare, education and safety concerns continue to grow.
With school and daycare shutdowns, women are getting hit hardest by the pandemic recession, according to the IMF, and some companies are shifting in an effort to recognize that.
What is clear is that offices won’t look the same for employees that are currently working from home but plan on returning in 2021.
These companies announced that employees won’t be going back to the office until at least 2021:
  • Google
  • Universal Music Group
  • Warner Music Group
  • Sony Music
  • Amazon corporate
  • Viacom
  • Scotiabank
  • RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland)
  • Group Nine Media
  • Indeed
These companies told their employees that they don’t ever have to come back to the office:
  • Facebook
Mark Zuckerberg said as many as 50% of Facebook (FB) employees could be working remotely within the next five to 10 years. Zuckerberg pitched the idea as both a matter of satisfying employee desires and also as an effort to create “more broad-based economic prosperity.”
“When you limit hiring to people who live in a small number of big cities, or who are willing to move there, that cuts out a lot of people who live in different communities, have different backgrounds, have different perspectives,” Zuckerberg said on a livestream posted to his Facebook page.
  • Twitter
Twitter (TWTR)will allow some of its workforce to continue working from home “forever,” if they choose.
The company did not specify which roles will qualify for work-from-home. But Twitter said the experience of working from home for the past several months has shown that it can work at scale for the long-haul.
“If our employees are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, we will make that happen,” said Twitter’s vice president of people, Jennifer Christie, in a statement to CNN Business. “If not, our offices will be their warm and welcoming selves, with some additional precautions, when we feel it’s safe to return.”
  • Square
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s other company, Square (SQ), plans to allow staff members to work from home once the pandemic ends.
Square wants employees to be able to work where they want in an environment that suits them.
“Moving forward, Squares will be able to work from home permanently, even once offices begin to reopen. Over the past several weeks, we’ve learned a lot about what it takes for people to effectively perform roles outside of an office, and we will continue to learn as we go,” the spokesperson told The Verge.
  • Slack
During a panel discussion moderated by Bloomberg on June 25, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield said the company was going to allow employees to work from home indefinitely.
“I don’t know if it’s impossible, but it’s going to be very, very hard to walk back,” Butterfield told Bloomberg’s Emily Chang. “If you go down this path and 20% of your employees are remote and 50% of them adjusted the way they work and where they live to work in an environment where they’re in the office a day or two a week and then at home the rest, unwinding that is a little bit hard to imagine.”
– Brian Fung, Allison Morrow and Jazmin Goodwin contributed to this report
  • Shopify
Tobi Lutke, CEO of Shopify (SHOP), announced that the world of work has been turned on its head.
“Office centricity is over,” he tweeted. “As of today, Shopify is a digital by default company.
Lutke said Shopify, an ecommerce platform for small businesses, will keep its offices closed until 2021. This year, Shopify will rework its physical spaces for this new reality. Afterward, most employees will work remotely — permanently.
“Until recently, work happened in the office. We’ve always had some people remote, but they used the internet as a bridge to the office. This will reverse now,” Lutke tweeted. “The future of the office is to act as an on-ramp to the same digital workplace that you can access from your #WFH setup.”

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