Social media giant Facebook has announced that it plans to open all its offices in the USA by October along with flexible work-related options for employees. They also said all offices may be functional at 50% capacity by September, and by June 15 remote work as an option across all staff levels will be opened. Some of the EMEA and APAC offices have already opened. Facebook will keep track of its LATAM offices.
Apple CEO Tim Cook, in a sign of re-opening of offices globally, has asked staff to join back office three days a week ( Mon, Tue, Thu) from Sept. Few of the staff may have to work four days a week. Apple employees, in a year, get two weeks to WFH to spend time with loved ones. Microsoft, in April, delayed the reopening of its offices till September after it had announced to start operating from Redmond, Washington-based headquarters in a phased manner.
Genius consultants, in a survey, said, 88% of employees agreed with WFH as a permanent work attribute in the future, while 11% disagreed with listing the significance of physical operations. Further in the study, 78% of workers agreed that WFH has improved employee efficiency and productivity. However, 21% of workers said WFH had very little effect on improving employee productivity and efficiency.
Google’s 20% of staff will WFH even after the opening of offices this fall. Around 60% of those working for the tech giant will work in a hybrid schedule meaning they have to come to the office three days a week, while the rest of the two days they can work from their comfort zone. Google has allowed 20% of the workforce to change their location of work to any google office. “The future of work is flexibility,” CEO Sundar Pichai said in an email while announcing the new policy.
Google’s parent company Alphabet has saved $268 mn in expenses due to the drop in company promotions, travel, and entertainment, during the first quarter of 2021, “primarily as a result of COVID-19.” By end of the year, if the saving continues then, it would be over a $1 bn. In the year 2020, Alphabet’s advert and promotional expenses reduced by $1.4 bn, due to falling in spending, paused or rescheduled campaigns, and switching events in digital-only formats due to COVID-19.
LinkedIn will give its 15,900 full-time employees next week off to avoid WFH burnout and allow the workforce to recharge themselves. The professional networking platform said that the “RestUp!” week, which starts from Monday, will give employees time for their own well-being. “There is something magical about the entire company taking a break at the same time. And the best part? Not coming back to an avalanche of unanswered internal emails ” Linkedin said in a reply to news agency AFP.
Cisco Systems has launched a new product to help mobile networks manage rising data traffic generated by home-working because of the COVID-19 and 5G rollout. Networks across the globe have witnessed a 25%-45% rise in internet traffic, since the COVID-19 pandemic. Cisco expects nearly 30 bn connected devices in 2023 led largely by 5G rollout, compared with 18.4 bn in 2018. It has signed Airtel, Google Cloud, Rakuten Mobile, Telenor and Telia Carrier.
Google has registered over 140% in “WFH jobs” searches from India in 2020 over 2019. The country has also adopted new things like “online doctor consultations” searches, which grew 300 % in the period led by Manipur, Bihar and Karnataka. Search in queries for “learn” was up by 30% YoY. Over 90% of YouTube users watched content in Indic languages. The demand for “local news” saw a spike as users wanted updates on the neighbourhood.
Facebook will begin reopening its offices in May, after a year-long COVID-19 shutdown. Free food, workout centres, shuttle buses with Wi-Fi and other public amenities will not be available for the employees, as of now. All offices will start functioning with 10% of the “maximum seated capacity”, which may go up to 50% in the first week of Sept. People do have the option to WFH until early July. Those not designated as full-time remote employees are expected to return to offices later.