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Our Return to the Office

June 29 / Global

Update June 29, 2021

Since we introduced our Return to Office approach two months ago, we have continued to gather feedback from employees and evaluate our approach. Like other companies around the world, we are rethinking what post-pandemic work arrangements should look like, and want to provide our teams more flexible ways of working. It’s still early days as we look to find the right long-term model for Uber, yet we want Uber to continue being a great place for our current and future employees, and that means adapting to different needs and being creative about what is possible.

First, our employees will have more flexibility on their preferred office location, choosing from a list of dedicated team hubs, instead of being limited to their pre-pandemic location. Second, we’re asking those working in offices to spend at least 50% of their time there, instead of a minimum of 3 days per week. This can be 3 days one week and 2 days the next week, or 5 days one week and 0 days the next week, depending on what works best for the employee and their team. 

While we still believe in the value of in-person collaboration and the community that builds, we also value our employees having the choice to decide where they want to work while they’re not in the office. So if they’re spending half their time in the office, they can spend the other half wherever—working from home, working from a relative’s home around the holidays, or taking a trip and extending their time there to work remotely. Our hope is that this provides a chance to spend more time with family, an opportunity to explore new places, and a refreshing change of scenery. 

Finally, we’ll provide more flexibility for some employees to be fully remote. We know certain jobs can be successful without being in an office, and this option can work well for some people. We’re establishing a process to apply to be fully remote if employees think that’s best for them. We’ll also host periodic in-person meetings once our offices reopen so remote employees have the chance to meet and collaborate with their teammates face to face and benefit from in-person interaction and collaboration.

The world is starting to move again and we’re excited to get back to business, whether that’s in an office or remote. We’re going to continue to listen, look at the data, and watch what’s happening in the market and the world–and we won’t be afraid to adapt as necessary.

Nikki Krishnamurthy
Chief People Officer


Update April 14, 2021

At Uber, we’re committed to building a culture where people are always inspired to do their best work. As we prepare to return to our offices later this year, we have been listening to our employees’ input and preferences, diving into internal and external data around what helps teams be most productive, and having many discussions around which model is best for Uber and our unique culture.  

The future of work isn’t coming; it’s already here. Our employee data shows that two-thirds of employees prefer a “hybrid model,” or a mix of working from the office and from home during a typical work week. They like working from home when they have to focus independently, but they also value the physical office because of the collaboration and teamwork it encourages. The pandemic brought this into relief: while many people reported feeling more productive on certain tasks, many also said they missed the camaraderie and connections of in-person office culture.

It’s not only current employees who are changing how they think about work—it’s our candidates, too. Great candidates increasingly expect flexibility, and as an employer looking to hire the best and brightest talent, we’ll miss out on great people if we don’t adapt. 

That’s why in September 2021 we will shift to a hybrid model, where employees can work from home up to 2 days a week, but with a clear expectation that they also come into the office 3 days a week. We feel that this combination of in-person and remote work will give people the freedom to do their best work while staying connected to their colleagues.

Those who have been following Uber know that this isn’t a big departure from our pre-pandemic culture. Why didn’t we make a more radical shift? It ultimately comes down to the kind of company we want to be. Uber is a great place to work because we are a mission-driven company, operating in a hypercompetitive environment, solving hard problems. Our business also exists in the real world, on the streets of thousands of cities, and it’s important we stay connected to the places we serve. 

That’s also one of the things that makes it so compelling to work at Uber—we get to do really interesting work at a fast pace, be creative, and have an impact. But that makes it all the more important we stay connected to each other and to our customers, and to optimize not just for employee productivity, but also for teamwork and collaboration.

You can expect to hear more from us over the next few months about our move to a hybrid model in our continued journey of building a great place to work for everyone. 

Nikki
Chief People Officer