Triangle companies plan to start bringing employees back to office with flexibility

Local News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Some of the major employers in the Triangle are starting to bring people back to the office.

Citrix plans to start bringing employees back to their downtown Raleigh office later this month.

“There’s so much energy and excitement and things to do there, so it’s definitely a draw in and of itself,” said Jenna Geigerman, director of real estate and strategy for Citrix.

Citrix is phasing their 715 employees back in. Everyone will have the choice to be back full-time, remain remote or do a hybrid model.

“We’re not requiring anybody to come to the office because there’s a wide variety of comfort levels with returning to an in-person environment during a pandemic so we’re giving people that flexibility,” said Geigerman.

RTI International also plans to phase in their 2,200 Triangle employees starting in October. They surveyed their staff to see what people wanted.

“We know some staff are very anxious to come back in and start working full time. Others are kind of wanting to ease into it,” said Sam Field, vice president of enterprise risk management for RTI International. “We do think there are people who would really step back and question whether RTI was the right place for them if we took an aggressive approach and demanded they come back in.”

They’re allowing people to do what’s comfortable. They expect the hybrid model to be popular.

“We are returning to normalcy in some ways but again, it’s a new world and we have to recognize that,” said Brian Southwell with RTI International. “We’ve got to keep in mind this has been traumatic for many people.”

IBM says about 85 to 90 percent of their employees are working remotely and there’s been no disruption to the work they’ve done with clients. A spokesperson said when it’s safe to return to the office in RTP, they’ll move toward a hybrid model.

Some roles do require people to be in person. Experts recommend flexibility be an option where it can.

“The research is very clear prioritizing people’s wellbeing is good for companies’ bottom lines,” said Dr. Crystal Schiller, assistant professor of psychiatry at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Experts recommend employees who are coming back to set up routines.

“Human beings are remarkably adaptable and I think over the course of a few weeks I think people will get used to these new methods of working,” said Dr. Schiller.

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