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LinkedIn: We won’t expect employees to come into the office anymore

LinkedIn employees can now expect to decide where they would like to log into work.   

Bloomberg / Contributer / Getty Images

LinkedIn has become the latest tech company to allow employees to work fully remotely, in a U-turn on a previous announcement that required staff to be at least partly office-based. 

The platform’s CEO Ryan Roslansky announced the change of policy in a LinkedIn post, citing some new learnings from the past months suggesting that employees wish to decide where they work for themselves.  

Roslansky pointed to the firm’s impressive performance in the last quarter, which saw LinkedIn join Microsoft’s list of $10 billion-dollar businesses, in what he described as a testament to the success of new ways of working. 

LinkedIn employees, as a result, can now expect to decide where they would like to log into work. “We trust each other to do our best work where it works best for us and our teams,” said Roslansky.  

“We’ve learned every individual and every team works differently, so we’re moving away from a one-size-fits-all policy.”  

Last year, LinkedIn announced that working from home less than half of the time would be the standard for most roles going forward, although the company stressed that the guidance was subject to change over time. 

The expectation of being in the office 50% of the time has now been removed, therefore, and the company expects more employees to be remote than before the pandemic. 

An internal poll, however, revealed that 87% of LinkedIn staff would like to be in an office sometimes, and Roslansky confirmed that more investments will be made in physical work spaces, both for everyday work and for team meetings. 

With this policy update, LinkedIn has roughly aligned itself with its parent company Microsoft, which unveiled a few months ago the new rules of its “hybrid workplace”, with a focus on letting employees choose where they feel most productive at work.  

For now, Microsoft is providing on-campus services for those who wish to return to the office, while also supporting employees who are more comfortable working from home. The Redmond giant, however, specified that once the Covid-19 crisis is no longer a significant burden, WFH is likely to be in place only for 50% of the time for most roles.  

To remote work or not to remote work seems to be one of the chief dilemmas among leading technology firms at the moment. While most seem to have embraced the notion of hybrid working, there are various degrees of flexibility from one corporate policy to the next. 

Facebook, Twitter, Square and Salesforce have all confirmed that their employees would be able to work from home on a permanent basis if they wish to. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that he expects half of the company’s workforce to be working remotely within the next five to 10 years. 

Similarly, Google expects that 20% of its employees will eventually be working from home permanently, and the company recently extended its voluntary work-from-home policy through late October. 

Apple, for its part, has chosen a different approach, and announced that it would soon require employees to work from the office at least three days a week. 

This prompted employees to voice their frustration in an internal letter to the company’s CEO Tim Cook, in which they condemned the “one-size-fits-all” policy and argued that the decision on working arrangements should be left to individual teams. According to Apple’s staff, the lack of flexibility on WFH guidance has been an on-going issue within the firm, even leading some of the staff to leave. 

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