On some days this summer, at the downtown Toronto office of Humi, a human resources software company, a couple dozen employees could be seen at their desks, or taking advantage of the opportunity to chat with colleagues in person. But for an office space that can accommodate its entire staff of 150 people, it’s felt virtually empty these last months.
The company has had a remote-first approach to working since the pandemic hit, meaning that employees work most of their days from home and only go into the office if they choose to. But as public-health restrictions on gathering and wearing masks were lifted, Humi’s human resources department had hoped to see more employees opting to head in.
“The usage of our office was drastically lower than what we expected,” said Andrea Bartlett, the tech company’s director of people operations. “Our offices are by the waterfront and we thought that, in the summer, that would incentivize people to come in. But we’re just not seeing that.”