Google could be setting the standard for the post-pandemic return to work schedule, as the company announced its decidedly flexible plan to the world earlier today.
The pandemic continues to keep businesses shut down, but with the vaccine rollout in full force and cases on their way down, businesses around the world have begun thinking about what the future of work looks like. Will it be back to the office with everyone or will the remote work trend stick around?
With Google's announcement, it looks like a combination of the two is the most likely option moving forward. But will other companies follow suit?
Google's Flexible Work Plans
In a company blog post titled A hybrid approach to work, CEO Sundar Pichai outlined plans for the future of work at Google, stating that most employees will work approximately three days per week in the office and spend the other two working remotely.
The plan matches a large percentage of people in the workforce that want to get back to the social elements of the office, but with a less demanding schedule overall.
“Our campuses have been at the heart of our Google community and the majority of our employees still want to be on campus some of the time,” wrote Pichai in the post. “Yet many of us would also enjoy the flexibility of working from home a couple days of week, spending time in another city for part of the year, or even moving there permanently. Google’s future workplace will have room for all of these possibilities.”
To be more specific, Pichai states that 60% of Google's workforce will work this hybrid schedule, with 20% working exclusively in the office and the other 20% working exclusively from home.
As one of the most influential companies in the world, Google's decision to not only opt for this flexible hybrid schedule but to also announce it so publicly could have a serious impact on whether the rest of the world follows suit. But what is the rest of the tech industry doing as far as return to work plans are concerned?
Post-Pandemic Tech Industry Schedules
Google is, of course, not the only company that has announced plans to adapt to a more flexible work schedule moving forward. A few other tech giants have come out to publicly insist that this hybrid work schedule was not just a pandemic special; this new way of working is here to stay.
Facebook, for example, came out and told the BBC that remote work was “the future,” allowing its employees to apply for full-time remote work positions. Microsoft did the same, with the ultimate goal of “allowing people to work where they feel most productive and comfortable. Twitter is also on board, stating that if employees can and want to work from home, “we will make that happen.”
The reality is that people like working from home, and they like working in an office, and trying to force employees to do one or the other is a good way to drive away talent. Flexibility in 2021 is arguably one of the most valuable job perks out there, and your best chances at staying relevant is to subscribe to this new way of work.
How to Keep Remote Work Safe
While remote work may be a nice perk, there is one problem: cybersecurity. The benefit of working in an office is that you're set up with a bunch of infrastructure to keep you and your business' information as safe as possible from hackers and other cybercriminals.
But at home, you're not as lucky. In fact, 61% of IT departments cite insecure remote networks as the number one concern for cybersecurity at their business. Fortunately, there are a wide range of online resources that can help you feel a bit safer while working from home.
Arguably the most important of these is remote access software. These platforms make connecting to your business' network as secure as possible, giving you and your team complete control over who sees what and when. VPNs are another great tool for keeping data protected, as are password managers when it comes to securing specific accounts.
The main takeaway here should be that Google's plan for a hybrid work schedule will hopefully become the norm for most businesses moving forward through the final days, weeks, and months of the pandemic. Just make sure you're prepared to take the steps necessary to make that plan as safe as possible.