Zillow, the online real estate advertising company, is the most recent addition to the growing ranks of companies offering employees the option of working from home “indefinitely.”
In a companywide announcement, Zillow Chief People Officer Dan Spaulding informed his 5,400 employees, “Effective immediately, we will offer about 90% of our employees the flexibility to work from home as an ongoing option.” Spaulding said in the memo that Zillow’s “allowing them the ability to work where they are most productive, whether that is in the office, their home or a combination of both.”
Spaulding added that this decision was “a drastic change,” as Zillow had “historically discouraged employees from working from home, preferring face time and in-office collaboration versus virtual exchanges.” He went on to say, “Our old preferences have been debunked during the pandemic.”
The remote-work trend continues to gain wide corporate and employee acceptance. During the last week of July, Google announced that it will allow its 200,000 employees the option to continue working from home until at least June 2021. Google’s decision followed other high-profile tech leaders, such as Twitter, Square and Facebook, that have previously announced that they’d continue the remote-work setup for the foreseeable future. Jack Dorsey, the CEO of both Twitter and Square, set the pace and pushed the boundaries by being the first person to say he’s open to having his employees work from home “forever.”
A wide array of companies, including Shopify, Coinbase, Upwork, Lambda Schools, Box, Google, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, Capital One, Slack, Amazon, PayPal, Salesforce, Siemens and others, extended their remote and work-from-home options.
Lately, working from home has become a priority for many professionals. With growing concerns over whether the schools will be open or not, worried parents are panicked on how they could juggle commuting and working at an office, while their children are left at home unattended.
With this in mind, Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, wrote an email to his employees stating, “To give employees the ability to plan ahead, we are extending our global voluntary work-from-home option through June 30, 2021, for roles that don’t need to be in the office. I hope this will offer the flexibility you need to balance work with taking care of yourselves and your loved ones over the next 12 months.”
This trend has an array of mutual benefits for both the workers and corporate management. As schools are either closed or have split schedules, parents can now be at home and attend to the care and education of their children without the stress of going into the office five days a week. Job seekers may now send out résumés and interview anywhere in the United States, as remote work has become an acceptable standard practice. People won’t have to live in close proximity to their office and will be free to relocate wherever they’d like to pursue a better lifestyle.
Corporations will save a large amount of money by not having to rent large office spaces in pricey skyscrapers—based in overcrowded, high-taxed cities. The environment will benefit with less commuters driving and taking the bus to and from work. With less people coming into the office on a daily basis, companies can appropriately manage the Covid-19-related health risks more efficiently and effectively. Otherwise, if everyone was to return en masse, it would be a huge potential health risk—along with considerable legal liabilities for the executives—if workers were exposed to the virus.
With all of the positive attributes of this movement, barring any major changes, the remote, work-from-anywhere trend looks like it will keep gaining momentum.