Uber has joined the likes of Google in calling its workers back into the office. However, it will allow some exemptions for full-time remote work.
The ride-sharing app wants its office-based workers back in-person 50% of the time from 25 April; in this respect, Uber has differed from Apple which dictated which three days employees needed to come in.
In an announcement, Uber’s CPO Nikki Krishnamurthy wrote: “We’re asking those working in offices to spend at least 50% of their time there, instead of a minimum of 3 days per week. This can be three days one week and two days the next week, or five days one week and zero days the next week, depending on what works best for the employee and their team.”
This only applies to 35 locations (the only one Uber mentioned in its announcement was its San Francisco HQ).
For the remaining offices, “our offices are either closed or open but with capacity restrictions and/or mask mandates. In those places, coming into the office remains voluntary, but we expect many restrictions could be relaxed shortly. We’ll communicate those re-openings on a city-by-city basis going forward.”
Uber also shared that compared to pre-pandemic “employees will have more flexibility on their preferred office location, choosing from a list of dedicated team hubs, instead of being limited to their pre-pandemic location.”
According to Business Insider, employee backlash against the call back saw Uber state that staff would be able to work from anywhere one month of the year.
Lyft goes down the flexible route
In making this move, Uber and its ride-hailing rival have signaled different approaches to the future of work. While Uber has embraced hybrid, Lyft is going fully flexible – and therefore falling in line with social media giants like Twitter and Facebook.
Almost all new and existing team members will now have the choice of where to live and where to work — Lyft employees can work from the office, at home, or any combination of the two.
“We also believe in and support an extraordinary office experience that brings people together intentionally and organically, without set days or obligations.”
This comes in response to how successful Lyft’s corporate employees have been working from home over the past two years. “Our team values this flexibility and top talent expects it. A flexible workplace strikes the right balance between trust and choice — helping us do our best work while attracting and retaining top talent”, continues the blogpost.
Svercheck then laid out why hybrid is not the right model for its staff. “Our flexible workplace differs from remote-first models with our strong support for in-person gatherings and office life. Spending time in the office is a valuable part of Lyft’s culture and we’ve found that thoughtful and intentional interaction is key to our success.
“This is where we felt hybrid models failed: specific required days in-office are often arbitrary and overly prescriptive to distributed teams with different needs.”
Do you agree with Lyft or Uber?