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Don’t like WFH? Companies are looking to hire freelancers back into the office

For many, the post pandemic shift to flexible work and working from home is a dream. You can wake up later, work in loungewear with no makeup on and especially on days when you wake up feeling rough or overwhelmed this can be a godsend. For others however, working from home simply doesn’t equate to working at all and this could be for a multitude of reasons.

Some may not have an appropriate setting at home from which to work. This could be due to financial difficulties or complications in relationships with those who they live with. For others, it could be a neurodivergent subject where working from home doesn’t benefit concentration. The list is endless!

For this reason, we thought it best to put together a list of agencies looking to hire freelancers specifically for in-house office work. 

Netflix

Arguably the most outspoken business leader around remote working, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings apparently doesn’t “see any positives” to working from home. In an interview with the WSJ, he stated: “Not being able to get together in person, particularly internationally, is a pure negative.”

Whilst Hastings is keen to get his team back into the office; he’s still waiting until it’s safe to do so—jokingly stating that his employees will return ‘within 12-hours after a vaccine is approved’ last September. 

While office workers are not currently required to show proof of vaccination, Netflix’s cast and crew will need to be fully-jabbed in order to work at their studios. As for office workers, an official date has still not been set for a full return to the offices—due to the Omicron variant.

This is still the case after months of Omicron being the dominant variant of COVID-19.

Adobe

In June 2021, Adobe’s Chief People Officer, Gloria Chen, confirmed that the company would be opting for the hybrid approach. In a blog post, Chen outlined how employees will spend half their time working in the office and home. 

“We’ll gather for the moments that matter. We will have an intentional mix of physical and virtual presences, with in-person gatherings driven by purpose and designed for collaboration,” Chen wrote. 

And so far, so good. As of March 2022, there have been no major updates to Adobe’s hybrid work strategy.

Apple

In June 2021, Apple CEO Tim Cook sent employees an email that asked them to return to the office for three days per week—Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, with the option to work remotely on Wednesdays and Fridays. “Video conference calling has narrowed the distance between us, to be sure, but there are things it simply cannot replicate,” he says. 

Apple employees addressed Tim Cook in an open letter, expressing their concerns and asking for the policy to change—but Apple has denied that request. As of now, remote positions will be minimal and decided on a “case-by-case” basis.  

As for the official date for the 3-day return; this was originally scheduled for September 2021, but was subsequently pushed back to October. But as the objections continued, Apple has once again delayed its plans to return to the office to early 2022.

eBay

In July 2021, eBay reopened most of its California offices—with its CEO, Jamie Iannone, welcoming back his staff on LinkedIn. “As we slowly start to come back to the office, that can bring its range of challenges and emotions. But right now, after spending my first year as CEO getting to know our community on screens, I am thrilled to start meeting our team in person,” Iannone wrote. 

What’s more, eBay employees can come into the office voluntarily—affording them the choice to work wherever they feel most comfortable. This level of flexibility has allowed easier adjustment to Covid variants and cases.

Google

2020, Google opted for a more uniform and structured implementation of hybrid working. Google CEO Sundar Pichai stated that he wants to introduce more flexibility into the company’s working practices, but informed employees that they’ll still be expected to work in the office at least three times a week—meaning they’ll still be required to live near their office.

For a while, the initial return period was voluntary as their offices operated on a limited capacity. But in August 2021, Google said that US employees who opted for permanent remote working might get a pay cut.

This announcement caused a widespread backlash, despite no plans to implement a similar policy in other countries. In a bid to lure more workers back into offices, Google is forking out a whopping $2.1bn for a new “biophilic” office complex in Manhattan—according to the Financial Times.

But in response to Omicron, Google delayed its return-to-office yet again. But unlike previous announcements, the company did not set a new return date and says it will wait until the new year to assess when U.S. offices can fully reopen.

So, what’s Google’s latest plan to bring workers back into its offices? According to the Wall Street Journal, Google told its employees in the San Francisco Bay Area and several other US locations that they will begin to return to workplaces from 4 April 2022.

As stated previously, most employees will spend roughly 3 days in the office. However, workers can choose to come into the office more than that if they’d like. They could also be required to work in the office more often if their managers feel it’s necessary.

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