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Netflix Sets Post-Labor Day Return to Office Life

Netflix expects its employees to make the return to office work at the start of September.

The streaming and entertainment company told employees this week that they should plan to return to working from an office after Labor Day, Sept. 6, after more than a year of working from home, WWD has learned.

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A representative of the company could not be immediately reached for comment.

Office-centric companies large and small have wrestled with when and how to bring employees back in after months of many workers up and down the ranks doing their jobs exclusively from home. What was thought in the earliest days of the pandemic to be a limited-time necessity has turned into a new way of life for much of the white-collar workforce in the U.S. and business leaders have been mixed in their views on the value of work from home.

Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase said in his recent annual shareholders letter he expects remote work to be “more permanent in American business” and that some 10 percent of his workers are likely to do so permanently and even more on a “hybrid model.” But he did bring up negatives of remote work, like workers not getting to know each other and in-person creativity.

Reed Hastings of Netflix has taken an outright negative view of remote work. He told The Wall Street Journal last September, “I don’t see any positives” when asked about employees working from home. He joked then that the date he had in mind for when Netflix employees would return to the office was “12 hours after a vaccine is approved.”

Obviously eager to get employees back to a pre-pandemic style of work, Hastings said in reality, it would be six months after vaccine approval that office life would return. A September return date is outside of that initial time frame, as the vaccine was first approved by the FDA in December, but the goal is said to get as many Netflix workers fully vaccinated as possible.

It’s unclear if there will be any work-from-home flexibility within Netflix’s return to the office plan. But Hastings told The Journal in September he expected a lot of companies would “end up” with a schedule of “four days in the office while one day is virtual from home.”