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The Latest on Companies’ Efforts to Return Workers to the Office

Aug 23, 2023

Many companies are still reshaping plans for employees to return to the office. A few examples according to recent reports: 

  • Goldman Sachs wants its employees in the office 5 days a week, according to Bloomberg
  • Business Insider reported that Meta first informed employees of its RTO efforts in June, saying that from September 5, people who were hired to work in an office should return for at least part of the week. It tightened the policy in August, saying managers would follow up with workers each month and that they could be disciplined or even fired if they repeatedly failed to show up to the office. The mandate aims to help workers “foster healthy relationships and strong collaboration,” the company told workers in an email.
  • The article in Business Insider also said that Amazon “employees have been told they need to attend their teams’ “hub” offices, rather than just the Amazon office closest to where they live, and the company said that those who refuse to relocate will either have to find a new job internally within 60 days or leave the company through a “voluntary resignation.” 

But the mandates don’t necessarily mean that workers will come back. As CoreNet Global reported through a recent survey, there is a gap between the number of days mandated and the amount that workers are actually coming in. 

As people anticipate the “new normal,” at least one expert says it’s already here. 

There is no watershed moment on the horizon, according to Nick Bloom, leader of the WFH Research group that has been documenting flexible work arrangements since the first lockdowns in (March 2020), as reported in Fortune

The latest data, he says, shows that we have reached a status quo. “We’re not heading into the office, but we’re not heading out either. It is completely level.” 

David Harrison