ISSUE: After COVID-19 Do Technology Workers Want To Go Back To The Office?

By: William Sikkens
Host, User Friendly 2.0 Saturday’s at 5:00 p.m.

After more than three months of lock down due to COVID-19, restrictions are starting to ease.  There is some concern of a second waive and a second lockdown.  After this “new normal” do technology workers want to return to the office?

Over the past years technology companies, large and small, have dedicated substantial resources to creating high end work environments. Examples of this include Apple with Apple Park (aka “The Spaceship”) and Amazon with a lavish headquarters in Seattle.   And currently under construction is Amazon’s second world headquarters in Virginia, which offers the same amenities.   These include arcades, wellness centers, gourmet restaurants, gyms, and much more.

Despite these upscale environments according to a survey by popular job searching site DICE.COM the answer is no.   The majority of workers want to continue to work from home, at least in some aspect.  51% of Amazon technology workers prefer remote work vs. 39% that do not.  Google has very similar results at 51% vs. 38%.  (The margin went to a third category called “indifferent”).


Apple Park cost at least $1.1 billion to build with $179 million to the Steve Jobs Theater.

The last expansion (this doesn’t include initial construction)  on the Microsoft campus in Redmond cost about $1 billion. Amazon’s HQ2 in Virginia is estimated at $5 billion.

Personally, having worked in these types of campuses, the amenities are amazing.  It can be compared to going to a first class hotel to work every day.  While you are generally expected to produce code at a given standard, part of your day can be spent in meditation, a gym that offers more than most health clubs, or sampling the best food.

At home you have to provide your own meals, clean your own workspace but can have your cat sitting under your computer screen.  Your commute is generally down the hall.

Which is better?  And more so, since workers have proven they can be as productive at home as at the office, which will be the future?

In my opinion I think we will see a merging of both.   There will be a lot of additional options to work from home going  forward.   There is still the need for group work, especially in creative environments. Creative groups have the need for in person interaction at times.   While I see in-office meetings as being a standard for 1-2 days per week I think keeping the slippers is also part of the “new normal”.

William (Bill) Sikkens has been an on-air technology expert since 2014. With an expertise in I.T., cyber security and software design he has had more than 20 years’ experience with advanced technology. Sikkens conceptualizes and designs custom applications for many professional industries from health care to banking and has the ability to explain the details in a way all can understand.  Article edited by Gretchen Winkler, who along with Jeremy Winkler are the co-hosts of User Friendly 2.0 here on The Answer Saturday’s at 5:00 p.m.

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Got a technology question or comment for Bill? Follow him on Twitter @sikkensw