Google and IBM Corp. are planning to shift the majority of their respective workforces to a hybrid work model, as the companies begin to plan for the post-pandemic future.
In a report by The Associated Press, Google said it’s expecting about 20 per cent of its workforce to continue remote work after its offices reopen this fall, while 60 per cent will work a hybrid schedule that includes three days in the office and two days from a location of the employee’s choice.
The remaining 20 per cent will be able to change their location to a different Google office, said the report, which also noted employees will be able to work from any location other than their main office for up to 20 days per year, up from a previous allotment of 10 days. Google will also continue offering extra “reset” days to help employees cope with the coronavirus pandemic. The Mountain View, Calif.-headquartered company has offices around the world, including in Vancouver, Edmonton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont., Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.
In a recent interview with Bloomberg News, Arvind Krishna, chief executive officer of IBM, said up to 80 per cent of the company’s employees will shift to a hybrid work model and up to 20 per cent to a permanent remote work arrangement following the pandemic. He also said the company plans to close about 70 million square feet of office space and will redesign its remaining offices to promote collaboration among employees.
In an email to Benefits Canada, Katherine Faichnie, director and human resources leader at IBM Canada, said the company is committed to delivering a hybrid work model that will base an employee’s office hours on factors such as deliverables and the type of work they’re engaged in. IBM has offices across Canada.
She said an online brainstorm of IBM’s global workforce last year found 60 per cent of employees prefer to be in the office at least one to three days per week and 72 per cent see the office as a place to go for specific team activities. “The vast majority miss social interaction, spontaneous collaboration and the learning and networking opportunities that come from being in the office. With the pandemic long from gone, we expect more iteration before we actually begin to move into the model of the future.”
Two recent polls by Citrix Systems Inc. found 58 per cent of Canadian employees and 52 per cent of U.S. workers would like a hybrid work arrangement. The City of Toronto is among the organizations that have recently made a permanent move to this model.
Google Canada didn’t respond to a request for comment.