Major Companies Seek Remote Workers

Lily Polanco Follow Mar 11, 2024 · 5 mins read
Major Companies Seek Remote Workers
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The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated a shift that was already underway - the movement towards more flexible and remote work arrangements. As companies around the world were forced to go virtual, many realized the benefits of untethering employees from physical office spaces. Today, an increasing number of large, established companies are embracing remote work, even for roles that were previously tied to corporate headquarters.

This evolution is being driven by multiple factors - the desire to expand talent pools, reduce real estate costs, boost employee retention, and provide more lifestyle flexibility. For employees, remote or hybrid options allow better work-life integration, less time spent commuting, and the ability to live in lower-cost areas. Companies benefit from happier workers, increased productivity, and the ability to attract skilled professionals from anywhere.

According to a study by Gallup, 59% of U.S. workers who can work remotely are doing so either all or part of the time. While some major corporations remain reluctant to let go of traditional office-centric structures, others are leading the charge towards remote work enablement. Here are some of the biggest names hiring remotely and how they approach virtual employment.

Pioneers of Fully Remote Work

A small but influential group of companies have adopted a “remote-first” model where the default is for employees to work from anywhere:

  • Automattic, the company behind, has been fully remote for over a decade and offers 19 out of 20 major benefits to its distributed workforce.
  • GitLab originated the “remote-only” concept, with no corporate offices at all and employees in over 65 countries.
  • Buffer, a social media management tool, made the fully remote transition in 2015 and is a proponent of asynchronous collaboration.

Tech Giants Going Remote-Friendly

Many leading tech firms were early adopters of flexible policies and continue expanding remote work eligibility across more roles:

  • Microsoft announced in 2022 that employees can work remotely full-time or take a hybrid approach. They also implemented a “work from anywhere” policy for some roles.
  • Apple is piloting hybrid home/office policies, with employees allowed to work remotely for up to 4 weeks per year.
  • Amazon now has over 25,000 virtual job listings and is rapidly growing its remote workforce across corporate roles.
  • Google is aiming for a 3/2 hybrid model, with staff working from offices 3 days per week.

Software Companies Untethered

Leading software companies are at the forefront of remote work, given the inherent flexibility of their products and services:

  • Salesforce is a “remote-friendly” employer per the article, with the majority in offices but many fully remote roles available.
  • Adobe, the creative software giant, allows flexible schedules and lists over a thousand remote positions currently open.
  • Atlassian’s “Team Anywhere” philosophy empowers over half of its workforce to be distributed across the globe.
  • VMWare offers remote-friendly policies and 15 out of 20 major benefits for virtual workers at the cloud computing company.

Online Marketplace Disruptors

E-commerce and marketplace platforms recognized early on how remote staff could support a highly virtual business model:

  • Etsy, the handmade goods marketplace, reports that 14 of 20 major benefits are offered to its remote-friendly workforce.
  • Coinbase, the cryptocurrency exchange, is fully “remote-first” with over 15 top benefits for virtual employees.
  • Shopify has adopted a “digital by design” approach and most staff can now work from anywhere permanently.

Financial Giants Adapt

Even stalwart financial institutions have pivoted to make significant portions of their workforce location-independent:

  • Capital One employs over 50,000 remote workers across roles like software engineering, data analytics, and customer service.
  • PayPal has hired over 20,000 remote employees and reimburses home office equipment costs.
  • Robinhood has gone remote-friendly, with 14 of 20 major benefits offered for virtual roles at the investment platform.

Consumer Brand Leaders Flexing

Major consumer brands are also revamping policies to provide more remote flexibility:

  • Target now allows for thousands of corporate employees across roles like IT and marketing to work remotely on a permanent basis.
  • Nike has implemented a flexible “home/away” model and is looking to hire remotely across several business segments.
  • Adidas has adopted hybrid and fully-remote arrangements to complement its traditional office presence.

Remote Opportunities Across Industries

While tech companies were early movers, remote job opportunities now span a diverse range of sectors:

  • In media, outlets like Thomson Reuters, The New York Times, and Axios support a remote-friendly culture.
  • Education platforms like Coursera, Duolingo, and Pluralsight hire extensively for virtual roles related to their services.
  • Telemedicine pioneer Doximity is remote-friendly for technical and non-technical corporate roles.
  • Even consulting behemoths like PwC and Deloitte have announced flexible “Anywhere Workforce” policies.
  • Pharma giants like Pfizer and Merck are going remote-friendly for many R&D and corporate roles.

The Road Ahead for Remote Work

As the examples above illustrate, remote employment has transitioned rapidly from a niche perk to a mainstream expectation across major businesses. Several key factors will shape how this workplace revolution unfolds:

Employee Demands: The pandemic raised awareness of remote work’s viability and benefits. Workers will continue pressuring employers to provide more flexibility, especially for roles that can be performed virtually. Study after study shows increased employee engagement and job satisfaction with remote arrangements.

Cost Optimization: Companies are recognizing remote work’s cost-saving potential through reduced commercial real estate footprints, lower utility expenses, and hiring efficiencies from expanded talent pools. Many are actively shedding office spaces and making remote integral to workforce planning.

Regulatory Environment: Tax, labor, and data privacy policies around remote work still need modernization in many regions to support hassle-free cross-border hiring. However, governments are gradually updating frameworks to enable global workforce mobility.

Technology Advances: Software and hardware solutions enhancing remote work experiences are rapidly improving. These include virtual office platforms, immersive video-conferencing, asynchronous collaboration apps, always-improving connectivity, and better home office setups.

Cultural Adaptation: While some executives and managers still view remote work skeptically, mindsets are evolving as the productivity benefits become more apparent and younger, digital-first generations assume leadership roles. Remote work is fast becoming the new normal.

By making remote work a core part of their employment value proposition, companies are positioning themselves to attract top talent in an increasingly globalized labor market. While implementation challenges exist, it’s clear that hybrid and fully-remote arrangements will only grow in prevalence across companies of all sizes and industries. The workplace of the future is dispersed yet virtually connected - and major businesses are rushing to adapt and capitalize on this transformative shift.

Written by Lily Polanco Follow
Junior News Writer @