Early last summer, a Google-funded tech company called Humu conducted research on the WFH habits and preferences of American employees. The study concluded that employees were most effective when working from home up to two days a week. Stefanie Tignor, Humu’s director of data and analytics, told The New York Times at the time: “[The pandemic] has created a shift, where office time is for collaborative work, for innovative work, for having those meetings, and home time is for focused work.”
Nearly a year later, the overwhelming majority of people working office jobs are still working away from the office. For much of 2021, it felt like the only impediment to a full return was broad-scale vaccination. But now, it’s clear that employers will be taking the summer — when there’s going to be a PTO blitz, anyway — to shore up their long-term expectations. There doesn’t appear to be a consensus yet: while Big Tech has been supportive of a teleworking future, the banks are skeptical. Meanwhile, thousands of smaller office-based companies — which, unlike Facebook or Goldman Sachs, haven’t had to share their stance in a press release to a national news outlet — will have to make a decision for their employees soon.