A Return to the Office (RTO) Wave?

Dozens of tech companies are starting to have their staff return to the office. Are we seeing the start of a trend?

Make no mistake, plenty of companies are staying remote-first. I’m especially seeing startups sticking with their remote-first policies, where the founders are committed to this pattern and find it works for them.

I expect to see more tech companies mandate a 3 days/week return to office. Businesses which will most likely do this are those like those in this article: large tech companies with hundreds or thousands of employees and office space they intend to make use of. These are companies which had people working at the office before the pandemic, and didn’t decide to adopt full-remote, beyond when necessary during lockdowns.

I would expect to see fewer companies do the same as Twitter and DAZN, of mandating 5 days at the office and withdrawing all flexibility from employees.

Looking ahead, I can see tech companies operating in four distinct clusters, based on work style:

1. Hybrid: ~3 days/week from the office.
2. Remote-first: most people work remotely, with some option to work in an office or a shared workplace.
3. Office-only: 5 days/week in the office.
4. Full remote: everyone works remotely, and the company has no offices.

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