2021 KP People Report
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2021 KP People Report

Return to Office

Adjustments Around Return to Office 🖥
Based on a KP portfolio survey in June 2021, 25% of our companies across all stages have pushed back their return to office date, and 11% are still deciding. Many companies are currently open (adhering to COVID safety requirements) and operating at 15%-40% capacity. This provides employees who need space a quiet place to work / focus.
The larger the company, the more likely they are to delay their return to office date. Most companies regardless of size are targeting a full reopening in Q1 2022 (January-March). Microsoft recently announced that they have decided to not commit to a date. Instead, they say they will reopen “as soon as we’re able to do so safely based on public health guidance.”
25% of our companies are currently fully re-opened. The majority are in the hard-tech and life science sectors, and only required for employees in functions where they need to access the facilities/equipment. For most software companies, it is still optional for employees to be in the office. Given the rise in new COVID cases, many are either reducing capacity or considering closing their offices.

Employee Sentiment 📈
Return to Office
We surveyed 500+ employees [1] across Engineering, Product, and Design ranging from 1-10 years of experience on their return to office sentiment:
57% expressed excitement on returning to the office.
2-3 days in the office is the most common preference. Top motivations for returning to office are: social, collaboration, and space.

Preferred Days in the Office

COVID Vaccine 💉
75% of companies plan to require their employees be vaccinated before returning to the office [2].

Percentage of Companies Requiring Employees to be Vaccinated (by month)

Requiring Employees to be Vaccinated (by Employee Size)

Return to Office Solutions 💼
68% of companies sent out pulse surveys to gauge for employee sentiment and concerns as they plan to return to office. Most are doing this on a monthly cadence.
Top employee motivations for returning to office are: collaboration, social, and space. Other employee motivations include: work/life balance - separation from work and home; productivity; access to hardware equipment (build and testing).

Below are a few return to office solutions:
Simple HealthKit's Covid-19 RT-PCR Test helps you keep your business open and protect your future. As an employer, you can easily get a customized, best-in-class rapid testing program at the lowest cost available.
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Reopen and stay open with Simple HealthKit's Covid-19 PCR Test:
Customized Testing Programs - Get a testing program designed for your specific budget, cadence and support needs. Every company is unique.
Results within a day - Detect Covid-19 early and intervene effectively. Timing is everything.
Accuracy - Get one of the most accurate Covid 19 PCR tests available. Our test is 10X more accurate than the CDC standard.
Lowest cost available - Protect your future without breaking the bank. Our test was designed and built to keep your cost low.
Proxy’s and lessens hand-to-hand contact. As a workplace, you can verify the health status of those requiring access to your location when someone shares their Health Pass.
Safely re-open your office in 3 minutes with only an iPad and Proxy Health:
Prevent outbreaks and maintain compliance - Whether your teams are meeting on-site or off-site, have peace of mind knowing vaccination, testing, or health status of all employees and guests.
Enable health privacy - Digital vaccine certificates stay locally on your employee’s mobile device, unless consent for a one-time view is provided.
Avoid fake images - Visual verification allows you to trust that employees are providing valid vaccine documents, but also gives you the ability to spot-check if necessary.

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Companies use Density to measure occupancy and utilization of the workplace, without invading privacy. With Density, companies can see the real-time occupancy of every desk, conference room, dining area, floor, and building across a corporate real estate portfolio. These insights help companies right-size their portfolio, repurpose under-utilized space, and optimize the workplace for employees to do their best work.
Unlike a camera, Density sensors are incapable of capturing personally identifiable information (something employees and legal teams love). The sensors are more than 95% accurate, cover 4x the square feet compared to alternative products, and transmit data in real-time.
The Density platform includes software tools to analyze real-time and historical data, helping companies forecast the future occupancy of a given space.
Density empowers workplace admins to display the real-time capacity of a room on digital signs, helping employees self-load balance to safer capacities.
Density makes it easy for employees to reserve desks (from Slack or the web) and for admins to allocate space using an interactive version of their floor plan.
LifeLabs Learning
LifeLabs Learning offers a hybrid readiness audit tool [3].
Office Logistics 📖
The majority of companies are requiring employees to be vaccinated before returning to the office. Within this cohort, many are planning to check vaccination cards. Some companies are relying on the honor system. Over 50% of companies surveyed are also asking employees and visitors (if allowed) to confirm they have no symptoms or recent exposures via various apps such as Healthy Together and Proxy’s Health Pass.
For companies that have fully or partially opened their offices:
In the hard-tech space, majority of employees working with the hardware have been going to the office during this time.
100% of employees who do not feel comfortable heading into the office can remain WFH as long as they communicate with their team.
Increased safety measures include: rapid COVID tests, medical-grade purifiers, and temperature scanning robots.
Most companies are operating at 25% capacity given the recent increases in the Delta variant.
Additional benefits include: reimbursement for transportation/parking and stipends for lunches.
Best practices include: adjust office layout, mark designated seating areas for conference rooms, avoid buffet style lunches, etc. A few companies are creating hubs in metro locations specifically designed for in-person collaboration.
As of Sept 2021 based on the CDC guidelines, employees must also wear masks at all times when using the common areas within the offices.
WFH days:
The majority of companies with 100+ employees are planning to have 2-3 optional WFH days.
It’s become common for companies to have a “No Meetings Day” during the week to help increase productivity and focus on work that requires no interruption.
Many early stage companies are planning to be in the office 100% of the time (Monday-Friday).
Exploring lightweight options such as smaller co-working spaces for employees to utilize on an as needed basis versus a full office for employees to return to.
Many companies are planning to re-open their offices in phases:
Phase 1: Soft office opening for employees that need a place to work from. Some of our companies have made this option available over the past year. Those utilizing this option are generally space constrained / need a place to focus.
Phase 2: Will offer a little more support for in-office employees but still encouraging the majority to stay home.
Phase 3 (Q1 2022): Full office reopening.
Distributed/Remote Offices ☎️
Close to half of the companies surveyed only have 1 office.
A handful of companies have transitioned to a fully remote environment (no office but in some cases will have office space for employees to drop into).
For those that have distributed offices, there is an even split across international offices (25%) vs offices within the US (25%). International office locations include: Amsterdam, Australia, Canada, China, Germany, India, London, Prague, Sweden, Tel Aviv and Ukraine.
14% of companies classify their work culture as 100% remote / WFA.
86% of our companies have physical offices. 10% do not have a company HQ and only have hubs. We are seeing an increase in companies moving towards a decentralized, remote-first workplace.

Company Headquarters by Location

Company Location(s): US Cities or International Countries 🌎
To better attract diverse talent, 72% of companies have or plan to open additional offices aside from HQ:
40% have offices globally (US and international).
32% have offices across the US only.
Top locations where our companies are planning to open a hub include SF, NY, Canada, and Europe.

Full Office Re-opening (from Q3 2021 Survey)

Workplace Policies 🗄
Some companies are still deciding on policies around return to the workplace post COVID. For those that have made decisions, below is a summary.
Employees Working from the Office
Many companies are asking employees who return to the office to confirm their vaccination status and self-attest that they do not have any COVID-19 related symptoms. This health declaration will be necessary every day to come to the office.
Addressing COVID Concerns When Return to Office

Guest & Travel Policy 🛫
20% of companies surveyed will allow guests. For those that allow guests:
40% have established a policy around this.
21% will allow only approved guests including candidates.
16% will allow guests with no restrictions.
For guests who are not vaccinated, some companies are providing rapid COVID tests, while others are currently not allowing guests to visit at this time (will re-evaluate at a later date).

73% of companies have established a policy around employee travel
44% already allowing work travel during the current remote environment.
Conference Policy 🏢
87% of companies have established a policy around this
65% of companies plan to host and/or have employees attend virtual only conferences.
46% of companies require manager approval for in person conferences.
17% do not require manager approval as long as it’s in the L&D budget.
💡 Tip: If you are planning to host a virtual or hybrid event, check out .
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Notes:
[1] The 500+ employees that were surveyed are part of the Kleiner Perkins Fellows network. They currently work for a portfolio company, have experience working at a portfolio company, or have gone on to found their own startup.
[2] Within this group, 8% of companies plan to strongly encourage vs actually making it mandatory for their employees. Please note that if you are planning to make it mandatory for employees to be vaccinated before returning to the office, exceptions must be made for those who cannot be vaccinated because of disabilities or due to sincerely held religious beliefs.
[3] See
[4] Other locations include: Bozeman, Chicago, Las Vegas, Michigan, New Jersey, Syracuse, Utah, Australia, Chile, China, Japan, and Taiwan.
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