With various aspects of the country reopening and life gradually getting back to normal, several firms appear to have embraced the new mode of working for good.
The latest amongst these firms is the retail giant Walmart. CNBC reported that the firm has indicated a reluctance to let workers – who have hitherto been working remotely – to resume work physically, and could continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
Office Spaces Are Suddenly Less Important
As the news report confirmed, Walmart sent an internal memo to its workers on Thursday explaining their new take on office spaces. Global Chief Technology Officer, Suresh Kumar explained that the firm was “rethinking” the role of its offices and looking into ways to make remote work better.
“We believe the way of working in the future, particularly in tech, will be fundamentally different than it was before. We believe it will be one in which working virtually will be the new normal, at least for most of the work we lead,” he said in part.
As Kumar explained, the company won’t be using its office space for work as it used. Instead, the spaces will be for “collaboration and camaraderie purposes,” whatever those might entail.
The commitment signals large firms’ desire to adapt to the new mode of working, which has included video calls and remote tasking for the past two months.
Silicon Valley Giants Embrace Permanent Remote Work
Apart from Walmart, several other big tech firms have gotten in on the act. Earlier this month, Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey sent an Email to staff, notifying them that they could continue staying at home for as long as they wanted to.
In the Email, he explained that Twitter had adopted the work-at-home model for years, although the coronavirus forced its adoption of the system to come faster. The company itself confirmed the move in an email to several news outlets, explaining that it has embraced a decentralized working model.
“The past few months have proven we can make that work. So, if our employees are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, we will make that happen.”
Employees that feel like they will do better while at the office are welcome to return if they like, and the firm has outlined some of its plans to allow resume-in personnel to come back.
Twitter’s chief rival, Facebook, has also announced plans to integrate work-from-home into its operation. Last week, CNBC reported that the Silicon Valley giant had informed workers that they could work remotely full-time, and employees who would like to leave Silicon Valley entirely can notify the firm of their plans from January 1, 2021.
Earlier today, Zuckerberg appeared in an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box, where he spoke on the company’s rationale. There, he explained that the firm has been working to encourage remote work for a while now, and it’s beginning to catch on.
“A lot of people felt, ‘Hey, if I don’t have to come in and I don’t have meetings, then I’m going to be more efficient if I don’t have to commute into the office that day,’” he said.
Now, about 95 percent of the company’s employees work from home, and they plan to keep things that way. He also explained that Facebook has been working on ensuring employees that this new working mechanism won’t hurt their careers.
At the same time, employees who decide to leave Silicon Valley and to continue working might have to face pay cuts. Still, the firm’s management is looking into means to balance the entire structure to favor both the firm and its workers.