Microsoft founder, billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates has given his predictions on what the future of work will look like after the COVID-19 vaccine.
In an interview at The New York Times DealBook conference, Gates suggested the changes to office work and business travel that have come this year as a result of the pandemic are here to stay.
“We will continue to go to the office and we will continue to do business trips, but much less,” Gates said.
“My prediction would be that over 50 per cent of business travel and over 30 per cent of days in the office will go away.”
Gates also suggested that face-to-face meetings are no longer the “gold standard” and that companies will now have a “very high threshold” for conducting business trips.
While some companies have started to make moves towards returning to the office, others have pointed to long-term remote work.
On this point, Gates said, “some companies will be extreme on one end or the other”.
Twitter, which has been making moves to ‘decentralise’ its workforce since before the pandemic, has told employees they can work from home “forever” if they wish.
The company is now subleasing a portion of its San Francisco headquarters.
Google, meanwhile, has said it will be extending its “global voluntary work from home option” for its 200,000 employees through to June 30 2021.
In the future, it plans on turning its offices into ‘on-sites’, where staff who mostly work from home can gather in-person at set times.
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