Out Of Office Indefinitely?

Swedish tech powerhouse Spotify announced this week in an article posted on their dedicated HR blog, that they would indefinitely keep in place their policy to allow their employees to work from anywhere. The blog post states that the companies leadership “have been discussing the future of work and what it will look like for a couple of years, and have always concluded that globalisation and digitalisation are drivers for a more flexible workplace, that is better for both the company and our people.” The arrival of Coronavirus meant that Spotify was forced to put that flexibility into action as they joined countless other companies and deemed working from home to be the safest way to move forward. Spotify joins Twitter, Square and Zillow, to extend their work from anywhere policy indefinitely. Other leading tech firms such as Google, Facebook, Slack, Shopify, PayPal and Uber, have extended their work from home options through to the summer of 2021.

Like with many other organizations, the beliefs that are driving Spotify’s work from anywhere policy are their corporate ethos that:

  • “Work isn’t something you come to the office for, it’s something you do
  • Effectiveness can’t be measured by the number of hours people spend in an office – instead, giving people the freedom to choose where they work will boost effectiveness
  • Giving our people more flexibility will support better work-life balance and help tap into new talent pools while keeping our existing band members
  • Operating as a distributed organisation will produce better and more efficient ways of working through more intentional use of communication and collaboration practices, processes and tools.”

We whole heartedly believe in all of the fundamentals above, however we have also repeatedly encountered candidates who feel that a pure work from home, or a work from anywhere strategy is not the most desirable option. Many candidates have relayed to us that it is a dealbreaker if a role only offers the option of working from home, with no office or dedicated workspace provided. While working remotely can be desirable, like with many things it comes down to more than one factor to determine if this is a workable arrangement.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey mirrors these findings as he announced that Twitter employees will have the option to  continue to work remotely indefinitely, however they will allow employees who wish to return to twitter offices when they do decide to reopen, however office reopening “will be careful, intentional, office by office and gradual.”

Our take and guidance is that while certain employees may love the freedom of working remotely, employees should be given access to safe, dedicated workspaces for those who want them.