Major Tech Companies Shift to Remote Work for the Long Haul

Popular tech giants are adopting remote work as a business model. Other companies will likely follow.

Many companies, large and small, adopted a work-from-home program to keep their employees safe during the coronavirus pandemic. We are starting to reopen the economy, although a lot of companies aren’t resuming ‘business as usual’. Working from home may be here to stay. After seeing productivity boosts and reduced expenses, many companies have committed to integrating remote work on some level long-term or even permanently

In the last few weeks, the CEOs of several major tech companies have announced their plans to retain remote work as an integral part of their business model. This is important for a lot of reasons. For one, it means that there are more opportunities in Big Tech for people throughout the country. The location barrier has been removed. Now, you don’t have to live in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Seattle, or Boston to land a job with a major tech company. This, in turn, means good news for the American heartland

Over the last few years, we’ve seen a trend of VBOs moving to rural America. The growing availability of remote work means that good jobs are accessible to people all over the country, not just people concentrated in economic hubs. Parts of the country that have been suffering from brain drain and a dearth of economic stimulus can begin to prosper. And workers can benefit from lower costs of living in the less-populated communities. 

If tech giants can decentralize and extend job opportunities to all qualified applicants regardless of where they live, other smaller companies can surely do the same. This decentralized model is going to define the future of work. Forward-thinking companies are already integrating it. Here are some of the Big Tech companies that are leading the change:

Facebook

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently announced his plan to allow half of Facebook’s workforce to work remotely by 2030. He’s already permitting many of his 50,000 employees to work from home. And he’s got an aggressive plan to open up remote hiring in the U.S. and beyond over the next few years. Zuckerberg is going to roll-out his plan in a measured way over time. He expects Facebook to be the most forward-leaning company on remote work at that scale. 

Twitter

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey made an unprecedented announcement that preceded Zuckerberg’s declaration. Dorsey issued a statement to his employees permitting them to keep working from home forever. 

Square

Dorsey, who is also the CEO of Square, then extended the same courtesy to those employees. A company spokesperson told Forbes that the company wants “employees to be able to work where they feel most creative and publicly.” Even once offices begin to reopen, Squares employees, like Twitter employees, can keep working from home if they wish to. 

Shopify

Tobi Lutke, CEO of Shopify, announced via Twitter that “Office centricity is over.” Shopify will keep its offices closed through the remainder of the year and adapt its workspaces to this new reality. The plan is for most employees to work from home permanently. 

Box

Cloud storage company Box’s CEO Aaron Levie wrote a blog post announcing that Box employees can work from anywhere until the end of the year. About 15% of Box employees worked remotely before the pandemic. He expects that number to increase. Opportunities for mentorship, networking, and collaborative creativity are benefits of office life that Levie doesn’t want employees to miss out on. So, he envisions a hybrid work model for his business in the future. In the interim, he is making stipends available to help employees with their home office setups.

The nature of work is changing. Businesses of every size are beginning to see the value of remote work. This trend is helping VBOs create opportunities for themselves in corporate America. If there’s a big brand you’ve always wanted to freelance for, your chances have never been better. If you need a little direction on making your pitch, VBO Nation has you covered. Learn how to break into corporate America as a VBO here.

Chantel Baul

I’m a skilled communicator with more than four years’ experience in digital and print content creation, who has a keen ability to adapt messages for diverse audiences. I have demonstrated proficiency in editorial writing conventions, social media strategy, brand reputation management, and interdisciplinary collaboration. I’m a driven and progressive researcher with an aptitude for storytelling. I'm also a proud Public Affairs Officer in the United States Army Reserve.

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