Microsoft set it off, welcoming employees back to its offices in Washington at the end of February. Twitter reopens next on March 15, followed by Google and Apple in early and mid-April. Eventually we’ll reach something like a new workplace normal, which—if these and just about every other company are any indication—seems very likely to be some kind of hybrid of in-office and remote work.
“In Q1 2019, 39% of Stripe’s hiring was outside Bay Area and Seattle. Last quarter, it was 74%,” tweeted Stripe CEO Patrick Collison in January. “Yup, the place to be was Silicon Valley. It feels like now the place to be is the internet (which is everywhere),” chimed in Airbnb’s Brian Chesky.
Many people’s first reaction might be “Excellent!” Tech companies unencumbered by geographical considerations can expand their potential talent pools, and office face time will no longer dictate who succeeds in an organization.
That’s not wrong. But it’s also not guaranteed.