Amazon and Microsoft are Preparing to Return to the Office

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Amazon, Microsoft, among other companies, continue announcing their plans for the year when it comes to remote work. While most companies are shifting towards a hybrid model, these tech giants are prioritizing having everyone back at the office for the end of 2021. 

The CDC reported that 139 million adults have been vaccinated with at least one dose; 94 million are fully vaccinated, making the U.S. one of the highest vaccination rates in the world. Companies around the country are actively encouraging employees to get vaccinated, and as a result, they are looking forward to getting back to the office.

Amazon and Microsoft: Looking Forward to Get Back to the Workplace

Amazon recently announced that they are looking forward to returning to the office. While most employees worked from home last year, Amazon officially communicated that they expect employees to start returning to the office in July 2021.

There are no clear statements regarding if some employees will be able to continue working remotely. At the moment, the company emphasized that they want to continue maintaining their office-centric culture. Additionally, Amazon will invest $1.4 billion in offices in Dallas, Detroit, Denver, New York City, Phoenix, and San Diego. 

The VP of Workforce Development at Amazon, Ardine Williams, told the WSJ:

The ability to connect with people, the ability for teams to work together in an ad hoc fashion—you can do it virtually, but it isn’t as spontaneous, we are looking forward to returning to the office.Ardine Williams

On the other hand, Microsoft is enabling a hybrid work model but focusing more on having their employees at the office. The tech giant has already opened, in March, its headquarters in Redmon, Washington. However, they will allow employees that work nearby to choose between remote work or a hybrid model. 

The Head of Corporate Strategy at Microsoft, Kurt DelBene, wrote in a blog post that: 

Looking ahead, we know that hybrid work requires a new operating model and strategy that encompasses flexible work policy, inclusive space design, and innovative technology solutions. The modern workplace requires companies to meet new employee expectations, connect a more distributed workforce, and provide tools to create, innovate and work together to solve business problems.Kurt DelBene

Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, stated that although most employees have experienced more productivity while working from home, it’s not something that should be over-celebrated. For him, certain aspects of remote work are beneficial for the company, but others are not. Not being able to gather in person and connect with all employees is more challenging to replicate in a virtual workplace and can harm the company’s culture in the long term. 

Companies & the Hybrid vs On-site Debate 

Currently, after a year of full-time remote work, companies are announcing their plans for 2021. Salesforce, Target, Twitter, Square, Slack, Ford, GM are a few names of the many companies that have openly shared they will be shifting their work model towards a hybrid model.

Other companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan are looking forward to continuing with their on-site model. 


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