October 13, 2021

Tech giants: Back to office or still remote working style?

To office or not to office? That is the question

(William Shakespire, if he was living in our brave new world)

You've probably heard about the incredible offices of Google, Facebook, etc. Companies have spent billions on this kind of setup and various attractive material benefits designed to keep employees engaged and keep them in these precious offices. And now what? COVID-19 changed their plans.

Full remote, hybrid model, or, still, full offline? The editorial team of Make it in Ukraine selected 10 examples (out of plenty of them) of how well-known companies in the Tech-industry are planning to work further.

Back to office: 3-2 Plan


CEO Tim Cook sent out a memo in June telling employees to schedule at least three days a week in the office starting in September. This decision met the resistance via letters of request and appeals to the press by employees. But Apple still stuck to its position, although it moved the implementation date of the new policy to October.


The company has now extended the voluntary remote mode until Jan. 10, 2022, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told employees in an e-mail. Going forward, the company intends to have its employees return to the office at least three days a week, and will allow them to work fully remotely up to four weeks a year. 

However, for those who work in other locations, local pay ratios will be applied.

Google believes that after the pandemic, about 60 percent of employees will work in the office three days a week, another 20 percent will work in new offices, and the remaining 20 percent will work from home.

Such a mix of controversial and undeniably good ideas. Let's see what they achieve.


Back in March, Amazon said it planned to return its employees to a work-oriented culture.

Some employees disagreed that they would have to return to the office full-time. As a result, Amazon revised its policy. It followed in the footsteps of other big tech companies and said that employees could return to the office three days a week + the option to work entirely remotely during certain weeks of the year will be available.

In general, as you may recall, Amazon's approach to working conditions is not the healthiest (work environment safety issues with warehouse workers is just one of the problems Amazon has discussed in recent years). But there are a lot of watchful eyes aimed at the company, so they have to stick to the rules.

Balanced 'Remote + Back to Office' Format


Microsoft said it does not plan to fully open its U.S. offices until September 2021. And most of its employees will spend no more than half their time working from home.

However, circumstances have changed. Considering the uncertainty of COVID-19, they've decided not to try to project a new date for fully reopening U.S. workplaces as soon as they can safely do so, based on publicly available health care guidelines (by MS corporate VP Jared Spataro's blog post).

All in all, we like MS's concern for its employees. We talked about this with the legendary Olga Gavrish in our interview for Marketer UA. If you haven't read it yet, be sure to read it, Olya is an interesting conversationalist.


Adobe says its employees will be able to work half their time from home and half their time in the office. They are going to gather for important moments and will have smart mix of physical and virtual presence, with in-person, purpose-driven meetings designed for collaboration (by Chief HRO Gloria Chen's blog post).

Tech giants: Back to office or still remote working style?
Yes, this is the office cat. Source: DOU UA

Full scale remote


Twitter employees will be able to work from home unlimited, coming into the office if and when they want.

In early June, Facebook announced it would allow all full-time employees to work from home at all times, as long as their roles allow it. In early June, Facebook said it would allow all full-time employees to work from home at all times, as long as their jobs, of course, allow it. As CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in an email to employees, FB learned over the past year that good work can be done anywhere, and Mark is absolutely optimistic about the possibility of large-scale remote work.

Note by Make it in Ukraine: With all the controversial attitude to what Mark and his social network are doing, we actively support this idea. In our experience, we started as a Remote-first company. We move forward and confirm that it's absolutely possible to do a good job anywhere.


The world's largest freelance platform consistently utilizes a remote-first model, so remote work is a golden standard for all its employees.

Work as you wish


One of the most successful crypto exchanges, Coinbase after the pandemic will allow employees to choose to work in the office or from home.

Still Working on the Back to office vs. Remote Work Policy


Airbnb says it has no plans to require its employees to return to the office until Sept. 1, 2022. The company is still working out the details of balancing office and remote work. Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO of AirBNB, said thet they don't want to rush it, so that's something they'll be working on over the next year.

Update: In addition to this research, one of Ukraine's leading media, VESTI UA, published our multi comment in their new research (along with the viewpoints of other business experts and major market players). The piece focuses on how Ukrainian and global companies are preparing for the new remote work reality and for the next wave of possible lockdowns.

Bottom line

World digital transformation has accelerated rapidly. Working without offices in distributed teams is the new normal, because we live in the age of the big shifts. Companies that don't accept remote mode are losing their best employees and candidates. Sooner or later all of them will come to the understanding that this is the only way the market can evolve.

Whether you adopt a back-to-office policy or look toward a remote format, you really need to think about growing as well. Have you already discussed with your team further expansion, and are you going to quickly and effortlessly strengthen your team with remote professionals?

📩 Be sure to contact us to discuss our ideas to make your team stronger.

Alina Tyutyareva
About author
Recruiter at Make it in Ukraine: Non-Tech IT, Marketing, etc. / Content Writer
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