- Sept. 21, 2023
-- Is it time to call it quits on one of the greatest experiments in employee management?
After more than two years of allowing employees to Work from Home due to the Covid pandemic, many companies are saying, "Time's up" – we need you to return to the office.
Here are some prominent businesses that have sought to bring employees back – with many encountering varying degrees of pushback from workers who want to keep their existing WFH policies in place.
As Amazon called on its office employees to return to the physical office, over 30,000 remote workers organized themselves on a Slack channel dedicated to Remote Advocacy. In May 2023, labor organizers estimated that 1,000 of these employees walked off the job to protest the company's mandatory return-to-the-
Apple was one of the first to allow working from home during the pandemic, as well as one of the first to ask employees to return to the office – for at least three days a week – starting in September 2022. The memo from CEO Tim Cook was met with protest by an employee group called Apple Together that demanded managers be given the option to allow "location flexible work."
This spring, Apple recalibrated its message, recasting its policy as a "pilot program," which requires its employees to return to the office on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays starting May 23, 2023.
Returning Disney CEO Robert Iger announced a 4-day-a-week return to the office in a January 2023 email. Starting March 1, Disney employees working from home were expected to return to the office Monday through Thursday.
The insurance giant, Farmer's Group, abruptly changed its work-from-home policies when incoming CEO Raul Vargas announced that Farmer's employees would need to work in-office three days a week. There was considerable dissent, particularly among workers who had moved away from the office during the pandemic.
Google announced its plans to transition from WFH to a hybrid work model back in April 2022. In the new policy, workers would be asked to come into the office three days a week. A year later, the company appears to be policing this policy more aggressively, according to a CNBC report that notes that Google is now tracking in-office attendance as part of its employee performance reviews.