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Tech Exec: Companies to Become Stricter About Remote Work in 2024

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Jan 23, 2024

The biggest change to remote work in 2024 will be the introduction of stricter, more permanent standards for fully remote or hybrid work arrangements, an Australian technology company executive told CNBC Make It

“It will become increasingly untenable for people to sit in the middle with a foot in each camp—to tell employees, ‘You have to come into the office 1-2 days a week,’ without specifying which days or enforcing in-office attendance, and then at the same time, give employees who don’t live close to the office permission to work from home,” said Scott Farquhar, co-founder and co-CEO of software company Atlassian.

He said that more organizations will move away from flexible working arrangements in favor of more specific ones.

“I think more employers are realizing that it’s not very productive to have some people in the office, some fully remote, and try to make it work where half of their team is on a Zoom call on a single screen in a conference room, and the other half is in person,” he said.

That could be because there is more demand for remote jobs than there is supply. LinkedIn’s share of U.S. remote job postings was 20.3 percent at its peak in April 2022, the company stated in a recent report. As of December 2023, the share of U.S. remote job postings on the site was 10 percent, but those jobs received 46 percent of all applications.

Despite stricter in-office mandates, office occupancy remained relatively unchanged between 2022 and 2023, CNBC previously reported. That is because “[c]ompanies have flip-flopped on return to office so many times that it’s hard for employees to understand and trust what, exactly, their stance is on it,” said Farquhar.

Ultimately, employers will realize that they “can’t have it both ways,” he said. 

“[I]f you’re already letting some people work remotely, you can’t force your local employees to come into the office to justify your lease expense,” he explained. “You need to have a consistent, clear policy, and give employees fair access to the same benefits; otherwise, they’ll vote with their feet.”