Uber has become the latest tech company to adjust its remote- and hybrid-work policies. The ridesharing giant’s employees can now work remotely for half the time—a significant adjustment from the old policy, which dictated that employees return to the office three days per week.
Moreover, employees will have the opportunity to structure their remote-working time however they choose. For example, an engineer could opt to work from home for the first two weeks of the month, then return to the office for the following two weeks. Employees can also apply for full-time remote work, and even choose their preferred office location.
“While we still believe in the value of in-person collaboration and the community that builds, we also value our employees having the choice to decide where they want to work while they’re not in the office,” Nikki Krishnamurthy, Uber’s Chief People Officer, wrote in a corporate blog posting June 29. “So if they’re spending half their time in the office, they can spend the other half wherever—working from home, working from a relative’s home around the holidays, or taking a trip and extending their time there to work remotely. Our hope is that this provides a chance to spend more time with family, an opportunity to explore new places, and a refreshing change of scenery.”
As with other tech companies embracing remote and hybrid work, it seems likely that Uber managers will ultimately need to approve employees’ decisions about which days to work from home. Krishnamurthy’s blog posting hints that other changes could be in the works, depending on how things go: “We’re going to continue to listen, look at the data, and watch what’s happening in the market and the world–and we won’t be afraid to adapt as necessary.”
For managers everywhere, hybrid work setups provide numerous opportunities and challenges—while the added flexibility can boost team members’ morale and productivity, it can prove more difficult to arrange everyone’s schedules (and meetings) for optimum workflow.
How companies approach remote and hybrid work could eventually impact their ability to hire talent. While companies such as Google, Facebook, and Uber are experimenting with remote and hybrid work (and readjusting their policies as the year goes on), others—most notably Amazon—seem dedicated to getting employees back into the office. Will technologists stick with a company that doesn’t give them what they want in terms of flexible work? That’s a pressing question for executives and hiring managers, and the answer might not come for quite some time.