Hybrid working looks like the new normal for tech firms, with Facebook, Google, Apple, Twitter, and Amazon all laying out plans asking most workers to return to the office a few days a week. Some employers, like Twitter, will allow permanent remote work.

It's a psychological shift, with bosses like Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella fretting that fully remote work will result in workers burning up the "social capital" generated by years of working in-person with colleagues. JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon has explicitly said remote work is incompatible with hustle.

Fast-growing startups are also adapting to this new world, potentially spelling an end to a culture of employees working long hours in the office to ship products or software.

We spoke to founders about how they're planning hybrid work and returning to the office — and it's clear the era of 100 hour-weeks in the office is over:

1. Startups will treat geographies differently

Dataiku, a French $4.6 billion enterprise software startup, will make decisions about returning to the office on a geographical basis so they "actually make sense."

The company has offices around the world, including in the US, Europe, and Singapore.

"There are cultural and political differences in terms of remote work and practicalities," chief executive and founder Florian Douetteau told Insider. Heading into the office may not be practical for some employees, he said, depending on the travel infrastructure in place. Vaccination rates also differ between countries.

US employees are not afforded the luxury of moving between states in the way that Europeans can across the bloc. "What people expect and want in terms of flexibility is also not the same from one country or one continent to the other," he added. 

Another French startup, call software startup Aircall, is also expanding through Europe and says it will make return-to-office decisions by market. "Every geography is different," said chief executive Olivier Pailhès.

Dataiku CEO Florian Douetteau
Dataiku CEO Florian Douetteau. 
Dataiku

2. Sales will be in the office more often than engineering

Aircall's Pailhès said the startup is prioritizing flexibility, not "counting the clock" as long as work is getting done. There is a general expectation for staff to come in once a week, but this depends on the team.

"Some teams, like sales … we expect them to be back like five days a week, in the office," he said. "In engineering, less."

Dataiku's Douetteau added: "There are teams that do benefit from actually connecting frequently with one another, and in fact, we do believe a lot in the virtue of human face-to-face connection from time to time, and there are other teams that actually can operate remotely, fairly seamlessly." 

3. Firms are mandating specific days in the office

Forward Partners founder Nic Brisbourne
Forward Partners managing partner Nic Brisbourne. 
Forward Partners

Venture capital firm Forward Partners said its approach is "flexible-hybrid."

Team members are expected to make the commute on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but the rest of the week is flexible. "I'm super excited to be getting everybody back in the office," said managing partner Nic Brisbourne.

This means that the whole team will be in the office together, which may make negotiations, brainstorming sessions, and onboarding new employees — each identified by McKinsey as potential sticking points for remote workforces — easier.

4. Startups are changing up their office space around employee wishes

Paddle, which provides billing services to software startups, is letting its employees decide. 

The startup asked employees what they wanted from its back-to-office plans via a series of surveys. The results were split, so Paddle has shifted to a mixture of office-based, home-based, and remote working. The company took on new office space in London and has designed it around this feedback.

Aircall hopes to get back to "normal" over the summer, having recently found a new New York office after letting the previous lease expire. The company also has offices in Paris, Sydney, and Madrid. Its headcount will reach 700 by the end of the year, with the addition of offices in London and Berlin. 

There is little desire to give up the office for good. According to a survey by PwC, just 13% of executives are prepared to wave the office goodbye, while 87% of employees said it is important for collaboration and relationship building.

5. People still like face-to-face

"We believe in celebration and in intense moments, the fun moments that really make the journey enjoyable. So we're going to invest a lot to gather people together," Aircall's Pailhès said. "And then the rest of the time, you can be more flexible."

While Forward's Brisbourne said Zoom has worked "so much better" than he would have thought, he also wants people together in person as "we are social animals."

He said: "What you don't get with all of this is little interactions that kind of build those small connections … The big things are fine, everyone knows what they're doing, but relationships are kind of not quite so close as they were. So when we have little disagreements, it just takes a little bit longer to figure out what the right path is. 

"I think that's just going to get much better when we're all back in the office a couple of days a week."

Pailhès said Aircall has two permanently remote employees, who have "separate treatment and compensation," but said he does not want Aircall to be "a fully distributed company" due to the value of in-person experiences. 

6. There's still a risk of overworking remotely

Paddle's employee-led policies have seen the startup go "digital-first", removing the hybrid label so staff can work at a time and place that best suits them. This includes its "navigate" policy, allowing its 150-strong workforce to log in from anywhere for up to six weeks a year. 

There are some practical issues around this. To tackle any potential bottlenecks in workflow, Paddle communicates asynchronously, project approval layers have been tinkered with, and there is a cap on time zone differences for those working remotely. 

While hybrid working might end hustle culture in its current format, Paddle chief people officer David Barker warned there's still a risk of overwork.

"Productivity actually increased during the pandemic," he said. "And that's also a little bit of a concern, because of the blurring of lines between the home life and work life."

Barker said Paddle had put several employees through in-depth mental health awareness training, adding that "anxiety and putting people under pressure is something that we don't want to advocate."

Mastering corporate social responsibility today is a matter of survival—both the survival of the planet but also of our free-market system with its existing regulatory and corporate structures.

“We have a lot of anti-capitalism, anti-corporation sentiment out there,” Dambisa Moyo, former Goldman Sachs economist and current board member at Chevron and 3M, previously told Fortune. A recent Fortune survey found that 43% of Gen Zers and millennials view capitalism as at least “somewhat negative.” 

In order to address these rising anti-corporate sentiments, forward-thinking leaders are expanding the scope of their CSR efforts. As is the case for diversity, equity, and inclusion, the modern solution for CSR requires making it a core competency of the organization and cascading that message from the top.

“Being a leader means no longer staying silent on critical societal challenges,” Kristen Titus, executive director of the Cognizant Foundation, told Fortune. “Employees, customers, and communities alike are demanding action. Effective leaders must center these very communities and their voices to solve global challenges—from designing more equitable programs and policies to building more resilient, sustainable communities.”

In a recently released book on stakeholder capitalism, Moyo wrote that CEO selection needs to better incorporate ethics into the vetting process, with less emphasis on financial and operational performance. She added that boards need to become “custodians not just of a single organization but of our economic well-being as a whole.”

Board and C-suite leaders can make their companies stand out with enthusiastic, authentic efforts to achieve this new imperative and ensure that their companies have a positive impact on society. These leaders have long known how to say the right things. They have been less effective at actually co-creating a better society.

“It’s especially important in times like these that stakeholder capitalism dictates our actions, and business serves as a platform for change,” Suzanne DiBianca, EVP and chief impact officer at Salesforce, told Fortune. “Each company can look deeply at each department in their business for how and where they can have an impact. All businesses have the opportunity to align to their core competency to create the change we need at scale.”

Garrett Lord, co-founder, and CEO of Handshake, a recruiting software startup recently valued at over $1.5 billion, told Fortune that his company quickly mobilized to build a virtual career fair offering to meet the needs of businesses and job seekers during the pandemic.

“Leaders should ask themselves: ‘What issue is closest to our company’s heart, and how are we uniquely equipped to help?’” he said, explaining that Handshake’s new feature was part of that answer.

Lord also shared how his leadership style has evolved in light of the rapid changes in the business climate.

“I’ve historically been intently focused on business metrics and tangible impact,” he said. “But as we’ve grown…I’ve learned that by combining compassion with accountability, you can create a psychologically safe workplace and motivate teams in a more human way.”

Compassionate leadership is not just for the “warm and fuzzies” but is also a benefit for the bottom line.

Job candidates are asking more about diversity and a prospective employer’s social mission. Employees increasingly want to work for a company more aligned with their purpose over the one that pays the most. And with more geographic freedom to pursue high-paying jobs anywhere, clearly, the labor market is placing a premium on the autonomy that comes with a remote or hybrid job.

Leaders can anticipate this bottom-line benefit growth in the future, especially as the regulatory climate is shifting for publicly traded companies around ESG metricsorganized labor, and more.

“From a business perspective, you’re able to attract, motivate, and retain top talent if you’re focused on making a positive impact on society,” Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of Coursera, told Fortune. Coursera recently made the effort and investment to become a certified B Corp. Though he admits it isn’t for everyone, Maggioncalda felt strongly that it was worth it for his company.

This imperative is also why Coursera is allowing employees to work from anywhere, Maggioncalda said. He explained that while he was considering productivity and the logistics of this decision, he also felt it would have serious talent implications if they didn’t meet the demands of a newly empowered labor market.

The ongoing remote work debate is a good example of the disconnect that some executive leaders have with the current climate. Not only is it bad business, but insisting employees come into an office, when they don’t want to or don’t need to, is going to impede diversity, talent development, and ultimately a company’s ability to succeed under these rapidly evolving conditions.

“While we are still learning how to optimize remote work at scale, I’m particularly excited by the opportunity it provides to build a more inclusive workforce now that we can recruit candidates who live outside a commuting distance from our offices,” Maggioncalda said. “More than half the employees who started at Coursera during the pandemic don’t live near an office, and I expect a significant percentage of our workforce to be remote and distributed in the future.” 

Remote work is just one example, but it’s a big one that helps explain the connections between business ethics, compassionate leadership, and company performance. 

“Going forward, leaders will be required to rethink how teams work together, even if that change feels uncomfortable or uncertain,” Dan Shapero, LinkedIn COO, told Fortune. “Top talent will demand more flexibility and trust from leadership so that they can do their best work in a way that makes sense for them and their teams. As in most times of change, great leaders that embrace this moment of change, and learn as they go, will shine and outperform.”