More Companies Planning to Reopen Offices, End Work From Home

Two colleagues in medical masks avoiding  handshake when meeting in the office, greeting with bumping elbows during corona virus COVID-19 epidemic in office, Social distancing concept.
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The threat of another COVID-19 surge in the United States hasn’t stopped some corporations from laying out plans for a post-pandemic world — one that includes heading back to the office after a year of working from home.

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Last week, Google said it will let employees return to some of its U.S. offices within the next month, Bloomberg reported.

Bloomberg itself might soon see its workers back in offices. According to a Business Insider article last month,  founder and CEO Mike Bloomberg sent a memo to staffers saying that he expects them to return to offices once they are vaccinated.

Meanwhile, a survey of more than 350 CEOs and human resources and finance leaders found that 70% said they plan to have employees back in the office by the fall, according to a CNBC article on Friday, which cited a report by the LaSalle Network staffing company.

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That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll see a surge of workers pouring back into offices. As CNBC noted, companies like JPMorgan Chase, Salesforce and PricewaterhouseCoopers are actually downsizing their office space. And a number of tech names — including Amazon, Microsoft, Twitter, Square, Spotify and Shopify — have extended their work-from-home policies. In some cases, those polices have been extended indefinitely.

But Google is one tech giant that is eyeing a future beyond COVID-19. Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google parent Alphabet, told employees in December that his company would test a hybrid model that allows teams to meet for “collaboration days” in the office. Under this plan, which won’t be available to everyone, employees must be in the office at least three days a week.

For now, there’s still a long way to go getting Americans vaccinated. CNN, citing data from the Centers for Disease Control, reported early Monday that only about 18.5% of Americans are fully vaccinated. And COVID-19 cases have recently increased in parts of the U.S. and the rest of the world, particularly Europe, amid the spread of the highly contagious B.1.1.7 variant.

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        About the Author

        Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
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