Tech Companies Calling Employees Back to the Office
New York, NY, June 13, 2023-"Tech companies that led the way in embracing remote work early in the pandemic are increasingly leading their workers right back to the office-whether they like it or not,” reports the Wall Street Journal.
“Alphabet-owned Google, Lyft, Facebook parent Meta Platforms Meta and Salesforce CRM have all recently walked back remote-work policies they originally set forth, or gotten serious about enforcing existing policies, after deciding that working in the office is more efficient and cost-effective.
“As recently as early 2022, tech companies still had to worry that pushing too hard on office requirements could mean losing employees to competitors offering a remote-first model. This year, the number of layoffs in the industry has grown to more than 200,000, according to layoffs.fyi, a site that crowdsources lists of laid-off workers.
“While surveys show workers still give priority to flexibility, their job prospects aren’t what they once were, tipping the scale back to employers and emboldening them to start pressing for facetime.
“‘Technology is where in the past 12 months there’s been the starkest change from remote-friendly to not-so-remote-friendly,’ said Jacob Rowden, a research manager at commercial real-estate services firm JLL.
“Shifts in the labor market have changed the landscape of remote work, Rowden added. ‘A year ago, it was easier to say, ‘I’d rather quit than return to the office.’
“Last month, 600,000 U.S. workers faced newly effective return-to-office mandates, according to JLL. The tech industry accounted for about one-third of those and another 85,000 will join them by September. In some cases, the return dates for mandates that were announced last year have finally arrived. Other directives are about-faces as companies struggle with an economic downturn, multiple rounds of layoffs, and internal research about how their workers perform in different settings.
“Some companies are trying incentives but many are telling, not asking, workers to return-and adding punitive measures if they don’t show up. The reversal is creating tension for some who have adjusted to the flexibility they gained during the pandemic and arranged their lives accordingly.”