Is WFH dead?

A Flash in the Pan or a Future-facing Model?

Charlene Wang
5 min readOct 6, 2023

Why did the largest WFH beneficiary, Zoom, call their employees back to the office?

Working from home peaked during the pandemic. As offices shut down, our makeshift home offices became the new normal. For a while, it seemed like WFH was here to stay. Three years later, many companies require folks to be in the office more strictly than ever.

So, is WFH dead?

Before COVID-19

The roots of remote work can be traced back to work measured by performance, where output matters more than time spent at the desk. Consultants have benefited from flexible arrangements. Most of their time is spent out in the field — researching, meeting clients, and making deliverables. WFH enabled them to do more with their time. Many often work longer hours than the normal 9-to-5 time frame.

Companies with strong remote work cultures, such as GitLab and Automattic, operated as fully remote organizations long before the pandemic. Stripe also recognized the potential of remote work early on, allowing them to tap into a global talent pool to build world-class teams.

Most tech companies have been flexible about when and where work gets done. As long as the job is done well, many managers will give you the freedom to…



Charlene Wang

Founder, Distillable; Ex-Google Product Manager, Health AI