• Wed. May 22nd, 2024

The new reason U.S. workers don’t want to come back to the office


Jun 20, 2023
The new reason U.S. workers don't want to come back to the office


Whether you’ve turned your kitchen table into a de facto desk and now enjoy its close proximity to the fridge or join (camera off) video calls from bed, the mass adoption of remote working has allowed us to create our own personal workplaces, cocooned from the reality of traditional office etiquette.

Plus, when you’ve spent the best part of three years working from home, in your most comfortable clothing and only have to contend with a commuting time of approximately 30 seconds, tearing yourself away from the kitchen table (and sweat pants) and returning to the office can seem like an unnecessary chore.

Work-life balance

But it’s working. According to a recent Gallup study, 71% of hybrid workers experience better work-life balance, 58% report that they are able to keep burnout at bay, and 51% share that they are more productive.

When employers meet their staff half way and offer a hybrid working model that accommodates the best of both worlds, with two to three days in-office and the rest of the working week spent at home, those in-office days provide the perfect opportunity to catch up with colleagues that may not be on your team, collaborate in a more creative or natural way and avail of free meals and snacks if your organization hasn’t cut back on edible perks.

However, for Google employees based at five of its locations dotted around the U.S. — Kirkland, Washington; New York City; San Francisco; Seattle; and Sunnyvale, California — workers haven’t taken kindly to its new downsizing effort, Cloud Office Evolution (CLOE).

Desk-sharing debate

Essentially a desk-sharing policy for cloud employees that will see staff rotate where they sit based on desk partners, Google has defended the move by explaining that as real estate is so expensive, it cannot justify expansive office spaces that are not being utilized.

“There are people, by the way, who routinely complain that they come in and there are big swaths of empty desks and it feels like it’s a ghost town — it’s just not a nice experience,” CEO Sundar Pichai offered during a companywide meeting.

For those opposed to a hot desk system, not being able to personalize your own office space is often cited as the main reason, and the consequences of not having pictures of your family or pets on display or keeping your favorite mug out of the hands of everyone else on your floor go beyond materialistic motives.

In fact, a recent study by the Simmons University Institute for Inclusive Leadership found that when people are able to behave more authentically at work, they feel happier, more confident, and crucially, more engaged — a separate study by Gallup has established that U.S. employee engagement is at its lowest in a decade with 18% sharing they are actively disengaged.

While there’s no way to know what way the desk-sharing pendulum may swing at any company, if your current employer’s hybrid or in-office workplace policy isn’t working for you, it could be time to move to a company with a remote-first model.

And if that is the case, the VentureBeat Job Board is the perfect place to start your search as it features thousands of roles in companies that support remote and flexible hybrid working, like the three below.


Post-pandemic, Adobe has adopted a hybrid working model after careful consideration — it used focus groups and employee interviews and surveys to inform its decision. In a company blog post, Adobe EVP and chief people officer, Gloria Chen stipulated that the company leaders “saw an opportunity and need to reimagine the employee experience and develop a future of work approach that leverages the best of in-person and virtual interactions to foster creativity, innovation, and culture.” View all job openings at Adobe here.


Ecommerce giant Shopify is remote by default and is so committed to fostering a flexible environment with its employees, it has implemented a “no-meeting Wednesday” policy. In January the company also decided to cancel all recurring meetings with more than two people and has limited meetings of more than 50 people to one six-hour window on Thursdays. Find out more about current opportunities at Shopify here.


It’s little surprise that Zoom has a robust remote working policy in place — the video conferencing platform rose to prominence during the pandemic when non-essential workers across the globe were forced to work from home — and today it permits staff to follow a hybrid model of their choosing. See all careers at Zoom here.

Start your search for a remote role today via the VentureBeat Job Board.

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