Many workers have enjoyed the flexibility of remote working during the pandemic.

In two weeks, Raleigh-based technology company Bandwidth will require employees to return to work in-person five days a week.

The decision will make Bandwidth an outlier in the tech industry, and some employees are not happy about it.

Bandwidth leaders said even though they will make about 800 workers return to the office full-time, the company will provide a tremendous amount of flexibility.

“It’s a building, but it’s also an experience,” said Bandwidth Director of Facilities Matt Shelton.

Bandwidth is under construction on a new five-story global headquarters in west Raleigh. The campus is on a 40-acre property at 2201 Edwards Mill Road. There are plans to build a gym, amphitheater, walking trails and a school. The new facility is due to open in summer 2023.

“Really taking on-site child development and childcare to what we hope is unparalleled,” Shelton said.

Bandwidth is currently headquartered on North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus. It is where employees will be required to return to work in-person, full-time, starting Oct. 3.

“That kind of electricity you get when you are working side-by-side on some of biggest customers and companies in the world, working for them, that’s always been something Bandwidth has wanted to create,” said Bandwidth Brand Director Hannah Magnan.

A school, soccer field, amphitheater and gym. Bandwidth breaks ground for global HQ in Raleigh

With many tech companies, like Red Hat and Pendo, allowing hybrid work, some Bandwidth employees are not happy.

“You can work a bunch of different ways but how Bandwidth as a 22-year-old technology has found success is working in-person,” Magnan said.

Bandwidth said they are reorganizing space to make room for all 800 workers.

“Any employee who is saying, ‘Hey, I am not sure that is the right fit for me,’ we totally respect that,” Magnan said. “What we are trying to do here at Bandwidth is a little bit different with this new campus, with this culture.”

A Raleigh-based recruiter told WRAL Techwire, “Employees are insisting on either remote or hybrid work. Candidates have options and companies will be losing a significant pool if they don’t allow that.”

“We are believing in a five-day work week in-person, but we give flexibility for you to be a whole person,” Magnan said. “If you need to go home to pick up your kids from school, go. We want you to do that.”

At N.C. State, many students say they are seeking flexibility.

“If your industry does allow more flexibility, I think people should be able to take advantage of that,” N.C. State student Chandler Probert said.

N.C. State student Joe Kingston said he sees the advantages of working in person.

“The camaraderie with coworkers and being able to make those connections with other people,” Kingston said.

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