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The Battle Over Return to Office Continues

Jun 15, 2023

Of all places, it is Silicon Valley where companies want workers back in the office and the battle over remote work is playing out. 

“Three years after Silicon Valley companies led the charge for embracing remote work in the early days of the pandemic, the tech industry is now escalating the fight to bring employees back into the office -— and igniting tensions with staff in the process,” reports CNN.

According to the article, Google, announced plans to begin more strictly enforcing its policy that requires workers in-office at least three days a week. The updated policy includes tracking office badge attendance and possibly factoring it into performance reviews, according to CNBC, citing internal memos.

At Amazon, tensions boiled over last week as hundreds of office workers staged a walkout to call attention to their grievances, including the three-day return-to-office mandate that was implemented in May, according to the article. And, Facebook-parent Meta similarly doubled down last week on its push to get workers in the office, warning that employees currently assigned to an office must return to in-person work three days a week starting this September. 

According to a report in TIME magazine: The share of people in the office full time dropped to 42% in the second quarter of 2023, down from 49% in the first quarter, according to The Flex Report, which collects insights from more than 4,000 companies employing more than 100 million people globally. Meanwhile, the share of offices with hybrid work arrangements hit 30% in the quarter, up from 20% the previous quarter.


“It certainly looks like hybrid is gaining share,” says Robert Sadow, the CEO and co-founder of Scoop Technologies, which puts out the Flex report. “There’s an adoption cycle like any other technology—you have early adopters and laggards.”

David Harrison