These 10 well-known companies offer fully remote or hybrid work arrangements

We look at some of the leading companies that have embraced the new normal of remote work

These 10 well-known companies offer fully remote or hybrid work arrangements

If anything, the COVID-19 pandemic has proven that employees can still be productive when working remotely – and as lockdown restrictions ease around the world, many companies have started to make their current fully remote or a hybrid work setup a permanent option for their workers. 

Below, we look at some well-known organisations that have embraced these new arrangements.

Read more: 5 HR concerns for Singapore's remote workers

Fully remote vs hybrid companies

Fully remote companies are organisations that do not have physical offices for their employees to work out of. Instead, all work is done completely online – which means employees can accomplish tasks, have meetings, and attend events from anywhere with a stable and fast internet connection, such as co-working spaces, coffee shops, and home offices.

Meanwhile, partially remote companies or hybrid companies have staggered arrangements that see employees working remotely some days in the week and at a physical office on others. The hybrid model is more common than fully remote companies because it’s easier to implement and requires less investment in new equipment and infrastructure.

Well-known companies with fully remote or hybrid work setups

1. Apple

  • Industry: Technology, software and consumer electronics
  • Location: Cupertino, California, USA
  • CEO: Tim Cook
  • Market Cap: US$2.5 trillion
  • Number of Employees: 147,000
  • Remote work model: Hybrid, office-first

Apple is a multinational technology company that specializes in consumer electronics, online services, and computer software. The company is the world’s largest technology company by revenue and has been the world’s most valuable company since January 2021.

The tech giant announced in June 2021 that employees are expected to work in the office three times a week with the option to work from home twice a week starting September – a date that was postponed to January 2022 due to the sudden surge of Delta variant cases.

2. Microsoft

  • Industry: Technology, software and consumer electronics
  • Location: Redmond, Washington, USA
  • CEO: Satya Nadella
  • Market Cap: US$2.3 trillion
  • Number of Employees: 181,000
  • Remote work model: Hybrid

Microsoft is a multinational technology company that manufactures and develops computer software, consumer electronics, and personal computers.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company adopted a hybrid work model that allows employees to work from anywhere for 50% of their work week, with the option to go 100% remote with management approval. The company even released a guide to hybrid work that outlines its approach, such as updating conference rooms, hiring across geographies, and tightening online security.

3. Shopify

  • Industry: Technology, e-commerce
  • Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • CEO: Tobi Lutke
  • Market Cap: US$170.7 billion
  • Number of Employees: 7,000
  • Remote work model: Hybrid, remote-first

Canada-based Shopify is a multinational firm that offers a cloud-based, multichannel commerce platform for small and medium-sized businesses. The platform is used to set up, design, and manage stores across multiple sales channels such as web, mobile, social media, brick-and-mortar spots, and pop-up shops.

Shopify’s CEO Tobi Lutke tweeted in May 2020 that the company will be “digital by default,” taking on a remote-first hybrid setup. Lutke added that most employees will permanently work remotely post-pandemic. When available, employees can work in the company’s offices in Canada and Ireland.

4. Slack

  • Industry: Technology, software and services
  • Location: San Francisco, California, USA
  • CEO: Stewart Butterfield
  • Market Cap: US$26.5 billion
  • Number of Employees: 2,597
  • Remote work model: Hybrid

Slack develops real-time collaboration applications that provide messaging, video and voice calls, integrated file sharing, and other services to organisations across the globe.

The Silicon Valley firm announced in June 2020 that they would offer its current employees the option to work from home on a permanent basis while keeping the offices open in some form. The company will also open most of its upcoming new roles to remote candidates, and indicated that it is moving towards a more asynchronous work pace by encouraging employees to work hours that make sense for them.

5. Spotify

  • Industry: Technology, media streaming
  • Location: Stockholm, Sweden
  • CEO: Daniel Ek
  • Market Cap: US$48.4 billion
  • Number of Employees: 7,085
  • Remote work model: Hybrid

Spotify is a digital music streaming service that allows subscribers to search and discover music, build personal playlists, and allows artists to post tracks.

The company has taken a hybrid approach for its workforce, allowing employees to work from anywhere across the globe. Spotify also provides a company-paid co-working space if an employee chooses to work in an office but does not live near an existing Spotify location. The firm also announced that it would continue to pay at San Francisco or New York salary rates, based on the type of job.

6. Twitter

  • Industry: Technology, news and social media
  • Location: San Francisco, California, USA
  • CEO: Jack Dorsey
  • Market Cap: US$49.7 billion
  • Number of Employees: 6,600
  • Remote work model: Hybrid, remote-first

Twitter is a social networking and news platform that enables users to send and read short messages known as “tweets” through web and mobile apps.

Twitter was one of the first companies to announce allowing employees who wish to work from home to do so permanently, as long as their role enables them to. The company offers a hybrid remote work setup with offices in San Francisco, New York, and nine other cities across the US available for employees who choose to work on-site.

7. Upwork

  • Industry: Technology, freelancing platform
  • Location: San Francisco, California, USA
  • CEO: Hayden Brown
  • Market Cap: US$7.4 billion
  • Number of Employees: 570
  • Remote work model: Hybrid, remote-first

Upwork operates the world’s largest freelance marketplace platform. It allows businesses to connect with professionals specialising in numerous skills such as writing, web and mobile development, customer service, and marketing.

Upwork CEO Hayden Brown tweeted in May 2020 that the company is permanently adopting a remote-first hybrid work model. They continue to operate two office spaces located in Chicago and San Francisco for its employees who opt to work on-site.

8. Quora

  • Industry: Technology, social media
  • Location: Mountain View, California, USA
  • CEO: Adam D’Angelo
  • Market Valuation: US$2 billion
  • Number of Employees: 1,012
  • Remote work model: Hybrid, remote-first

Quora is a question-and-answer social media platform created, edited, and organised by its community of users.

Adam D’Angelo, co-founder and CEO of Quora, announced in June 2020 that the company would take on a remote-first hybrid work setup after most of its employees opted not to return to the office post-pandemic.

9. Pinterest

  • Industry: Technology, social media
  • Location: San Francisco, California, USA
  • CEO: Benjamin Silbermann
  • Market Cap: US$39.5 billion
  • Number of Employees: 2,942
  • Remote work model: Hybrid, remote-first

Pinterest operates a pinboard-style social networking site where users can create, manage, and share theme-based image collections based on events, interests, and hobbies.

In 2020, Pinterest announced they would follow a remote-first hybrid work model after stating the company will not be expecting employees to return to the office due to the pandemic. Subsequently, the company paid US$89.5 million to cancel a large lease on its San Francisco office. The company is also looking into hiring talent across the globe who were previously excluded due to geography. Pinterest still manages physical offices in eight US cities.

10. LinkedIn

  • Industry: Technology, social networking
  • Location: Sunnyvale, California, USA
  • CEO: Ryan Roslansky
  • Market Cap: US$29.5 billion
  • Number of Employees: 16,000
  • Remote work model: Hybrid with a fully remote option

Linkedin is a professional networking site which allows online members to create, manage, and share their professional identities, find career opportunities, and be able to connect with likeminded individuals.

LinkedIn announced in July 2021 that the company will opt for a hybrid setup with a fully remote option by allowing employees to choose their preferred work setup. The update comes after the company’s initial policy of employees working from an office 50% of the time when lockdown restrictions ease up. The company runs offices in eight cities across the, US, but its new policy will apply to its global workforce of more than 16,000 employees.

Read more: Will demand for remote work change as the country reopens?

The pros and cons of a fully remote or hybrid company

Perhaps the biggest benefit of remote work to employers is the opportunity to tap into a wider talent pool by allowing them to hire skilled applicants from anywhere in the world. Employers can now find the right applicant for any given position regardless of their location.

Hiring remote workers can also reduce an organisation's operating cost, especially in areas such as office rents and supplies. Additionally, a report from Global Workplace Analytics reveals that having the option to work remotely has contributed to a reduction in unscheduled absences, since employees have more time to manage unforeseen situations and errands such as taking care of a sick relative or meeting an appointment – which 78% of employees call in sick for – without having to take a day off.

However, remote work can also present some challenges for employers, such issues of employee disengagement. Having all communications online means that managers also need to be more proactive in setting clear goals for deliverables, as well as overcome challenges in tracking work progress and resolving work-related conflicts.

Despite these issues, fully remote and hybrid arrangements are well on their way to becoming the new normal, with more organizations expected to adopt similar setups as the pandemic winds down.

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