Published: 02 Nov 2020
Updated: 29 Jan 2021
Category: Hybrid Working , Flexible Office Space , Organisational Culture

When Major Tech Companies are Returning to the Office after COVID-19

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Earlier this year, the world was met with a huge disruption due to the pandemic, transforming the way people work, live, and interact. With distancing measures relaxing and more businesses operating as normal, tech companies are among the first to have their back to office plans mapped out. Find out how major tech companies reopening are leading the return to the office space for other small to larger companies to follow suit. 
 

Tech Companies Reopening Offices in APAC Region

When will tech companies go back to work? was a popular questionwith some organisations modelling their return plans by taking a page off the books of tech firms.
 
Salesforce is among the first tech companies back to work in the APAC region, with its Hong Kong, China, and South Korea office returning to the workplace as early as May this year. Among their new standards in the post-Covid19 times, the company implemented its corporate performance management ecosystem, Work.com, to facilitate the reopening of their office and their return to work in a safe manner. Among the features include facility monitoring, shift management, contact tracing and more. Other solutions that were imposed include limiting building occupancy per floor, and limiting elevator use for 2-4 people at any given time. 

Ride-hailing tech firm Grab has also reopened since June, during Phase 2 of the circuit breaker in Singapore. The company has also expressed plans for a new headquarters in the last quarter of 2020. Upon completion, the new facility may house all of the employees in Singapore and would allow more space for its employees in view of social distancing measures and other health protocols. 
 
Another ride-hailing company, Didi Chuxing, is among the tech companies reopening offices in China. While they are not acquiring a new office space like Grab, the company has implemented strict rules to observe, including office seating in grids to ensure a 1-metre spacing, and elevators marked with safe distancing floor guides. 
 

Tech Companies Reopening Offices in US and UK

Across the world, major tech companies reopening office in the U.S. and U.K. include major tech companies such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple. The employees of Apple have made their return to office since May, with rules put in place for a safer office including hybrid working, mandated temperature checks, limited elevator capacity, wearing face masks, and closing of common areas such as break rooms.

While Facebook allows flexibility for employees to work from home, their office is also open to an extent of a 25% capacity, largely for jobs that are required on-site. Those who returned to the office in July are met with new rules, including work stations that are six feet apart, to-go meals instead of a cafeteria, limited capacity in meeting rooms, visitor restriction and more. Google, on the other hand, will reduce number of building entrants at any one time, with temperature check points, spaced out workstations and common areas, as well as eliminated access some of its more unique features like sleep pods and massages.
 
Many tech companies are not deterred to head back to work, but rather welcoming it with new such as designed space for the new normal, installing glass dividers, and keeping social distancing protocols in place.
 
In a positive light, a number of firms have already begun looking forward despite current limitations stemming from the pandemic. Some have already acquired new office spaces, and some with new offices in the pipeline.

In the midst of navigating the new normal, many tech firms are already allowing employees back to office with flexibility to work from home, while some are leaning toward flexible office solutions to equip teams that require physical workspace for collaboration and engagement. One thing for sure, the tech industry is already in the midst of bouncing back stronger.

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