NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) – Bumble, the dating and relationship app where women have to make the first move, temporarily closed its offices this week, giving its about 700 employees a “much needed break” to recover from Covid-19 burnout.
With coronavirus-induced restrictions now largely lifted across the country, companies are taking different approaches to retain staff and boost productivity. Some expect a full return to office while others are offering a more flexible approach.
Corporations such as Goldman Sachs Group and JPMorgan Chase & Co are requiring all vaccinated employees to come back to the office by the fall, whereas Apple will pursue a hybrid work-from-home strategy and Twitter has said many employee will be able to work from home indefinitely.
During the pandemic, dating apps had to quickly pivot to keep users engaged as people isolated and quarantined at home. In-person dates went virtual as Zoom happy hours, Netflix parties and online coffee dates filled after-hours schedules.
As the pandemic forced people out of offices and schools, fears of Zoom fatigue and burnout emerged as the boundary between work and home vanished. While many businesses have thrived, many of their workers are on the edge of throwing in the towel. A Microsoft study this spring found that 41 per cent of workers may quit this year. With employers at risk of losing employees, the ball is now in workers’ courts as they are now in a position to leverage change.
The paid vacation for Bumble staff – and employees at its Latin American unit Badoo – comes amid a trend of bosses persuading employees that they have their best interests at heart and to stay. Citigroup announced in March that it would ban Zoom calls on Fridays to combat burnout.
Return-to-work incentives are also present in the restaurant service sector, which is struggling to find workers. White Castle boosted its starting pay in some cities to US$15 (S$20) an hour from US$11.50, including free meals during shifts, while Wendy’s is offering a US$100 signing bonus.