Life in Lockdown: The Future of the Office

One year after many began working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, some will be going back to the office, but others are seeing benefits from working remotely

NBC Universal, Inc.

Pac-Man sits dark in the gaming area of Rapid7's offices in Boston. The worldwide cybersecurity company moved in nine months before the pandemic sent everyone home and onto Zoom.

CEO Corey Thomas is now looking at bringing people back.



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"We've learned that we can actually do a lot to actually work across the world in a much better way than we've ever done before, so we're going to hold on to that," Thomas said. "We're going to hold on to the flexibility."

Amy Kass agrees. She works in customer excellence and says working from home has increased her productivity in some ways.

"I think I've definitely regained the first hour, hour and a half, and the last hour, hour and a half, of my day, because I don't have to commute," she said.

While some companies consider keeping employees remote and downsizing their spaces, Rapid7 will come back to the office, but not five days a week.

"If you want to come here and just sit at your desk and work by yourself, you can, but you can do that work at home now," Thomas said. "If you are going to come into the office, what we really want is for us actually having people getting together and solving hard problems."

While Kass has adapted to working from home, she says face-to-face matters.

"I miss white-boarding, so I think that kind of creative experience together is a little hard to do remote," she said.

There is also the question of culture and diversity. Thomas says recruiting diverse talent from around the world is easier with remote networks. But creating a corporate culture over Zoom?

"I do think you can actually have a culture that thrives and is remote," he said. "I think it takes a lot of work. I think you have to be much more intentional, and I believe it's easier to reinforce it if you mix an in-person experience and a remote experience."

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