As offices reopen, will employees return or continue to work remotely?


AUSTIN (KXAN) —The pandemic pushed many people to work from home, but now as workplaces open their doors again, some people are still sticking to videoconferences and virtual settings.

“I was kind of an in-office, get stuff done, I liked being around everyone there,” said Sloane Garvey, who has been working from home since the pandemic began.

Garvey, like many people, packed up her desk and started working from home last March, but now her office is opening again.

“At the end of June is when they plan on the office actually being reopened, but they aren’t requiring people to return to work,” Garvey said. She plans to continue working virtually for the time being.

Finn Staber, CEO of Chicken Waffle, a gaming and development company in Austin, says the virtual setting just makes sense for a number of reasons.

“One is that the speed and efficiency of connecting immediately and disconnecting and already being at your work station,” Staber said.

Staber says the virtual setting is not only good for team meetings, but also offers much more.

“We ended up being reached out to by many of the event organizers to build experiences and new worlds for their spaces to be held,” Staber said.

Chicken Waffle created virtual spaces where people could use virtual reality to meet for a business conference or gather for a concert.

“We did the Super Bowl tailgating experience, which was a lot of fun. It felt like you were outside the stadium,” Staber said.

While these spaces were around before the pandemic, Staber says he believes hybrid events where people can attend in-person or virtually will continue to become more popular even after the world returns to normal.

“Post-pandemic we are going to see attendance in virtual events and hybrid events even for the events that do come back,” Staber said.

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