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Uber asks employees to return 50% of the time


A pedestrian walks by a sign in front of the Uber headquarters on May 18, 2020 in San Francisco, California.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Uber on Tuesday told employees it will roll out a hybrid return-to-work model this fall, allowing for a more flexible approach to location and time spent in the office.

The company is asking employees to be in the office 50% of the time. That time can be split up in whatever way works best for employees and their teams, Uber’s chief people officer, Nikki Krishnamurthy, wrote in a blog post. That could mean one week on, one week off, or three days one week and two days the next week, for instance. It’s a slightly different model than many companies have been choosing, where they ask employees to come in a set number of days each week.

Uber employees will also have more flexibility on their preferred office location, the company said. They’ll be able to choose from a list of “dedicated team hubs,” instead of being limited to their pre-pandemic location.

The new model will likely start this fall. Employees are allowed to continue to work from home until Sept. 13, barring a worsening of Covid-19.

“Before then, our team will be able to apply for remote work or potential office changes. It’s our goal to have all remote work/location transfers processed by September,” a spokesperson told CNBC.

Uber is also telling employees they can apply to become fully remote.

“We’ll also host periodic in-person meetings once our offices reopen so remote employees have the chance to meet and collaborate with their teammates face to face and benefit from in-person interaction and collaboration,” Krishnamurthy said.

After more than a year of office closures, employers are increasingly asking people to come back to the office in some capacity now that vaccines are rolling out and Covid restrictions lift.

Spotify adapted a “work from anywhere” model, which allows employees to choose whether they want to be in the office full time, be at home full time or a combination of the two. Salesforce said it would let employees choose whether they want to come into the office again, saying “the 9-to-5 workday is dead.” Meanwhile, Twitter and Square are letting employees work from home “forever.”

In regard to Covid restrictions, the spokesperson said Uber is following Cal/OSHA Emergency Temporary Standards. Employees who attest to being fully vaccinated no longer need to wear a mask or social distance as they return, and the company is encouraging employees to get vaccinated.

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