Office Culture

Is Portland’s FT/WFH Era on its Way Out?

From Nike to Stoel Rives to City Hall, hybrid work schedules are the new black.

By Michelle Harris March 3, 2022

The Nike campus is getting ready to officially welcome employees back to the office, at least on a hybrid schedule.

This time, it's not a drill. After two years of virtual meetings in pajama bottoms and Zoom tops, commutes from bedrooms to makeshift home offices, and false starts during previous COVID lulls, Portland offices are gearing up to call their workforces back in person.  

Work will look different now—many of the region's largest companies are planning hybrid schedules, at least to start off.  But with the lifting of Oregon's mask mandate set for March 12 and COVID-related hospitalizations in freefall, the office is poised for its comeback.  

Here's how some of the Portland-area's best-known employers are planning to handle the Great Return.  


Business Insider reports that Nike workers will return to the office on May 3. The return just so happens to coincide with the ubiquitous swoosh brand’s 50th anniversary. Starting May 3, Nike will operate on a flexible 3-2 hybrid work schedule, which means employees can work remotely up to two days a week, the magazine reported, with the company continuing to evaluate, “additional flexible work options and well-being initiatives.”  (Employees already have the ability to return to the Nike campus if they choose, and sources say many people are already doing so.)

City of Portland

More than half of Portland's 7,000 city employees have been working remotely since the lockdown in March 2020. But next month, teleworking employees will return to city worksites once a week. The idea is to “promote collaboration, team-building, and customer service,” according to city spokesman Mark Alejos. The one-day-a-week schedule will serve as a trial run to help make decisions about long-term expectations for a hybrid work model. “We do not anticipate returning to a model where all employees return to City facilities full-time,” wrote Alejos in an email to Portland Monthly.  


Google will return to its Portland office beginning April 4,  per a report in The Oregonian. The search engine behemoth had moved into the Meier & Frank building near Pioneer Courthouse just before the pandemic in anticipation of growth, then closed most offices worldwide. As of now there are 220 employees affiliated with the Portland office. The company will be working on a hybrid schedule, where employees will be in the office three days a week and have the option to work remotely the other two days.  


The computer processor manufacturing giant is approaching the return-to-work at its Hillsboro location in a “phased manner,”  per an e-mail statement from Communications Manager Eleonora Akopyan. As of now, there are no specifics as to when Oregon employees will be returning to the office or whether it would be a hybrid or regular full-time model. “To continue to protect worker safety and minimize the risk of disruption to physical distancing achieved within our operations, our return-to-work plan is proceeding in phases at each site,” wrote Akopyan. (What does this corporate double-speak actually mean? Your guess is as good as ours—Intel folks, send all deciphering attempts to us at [email protected]). 

Columbia Sportswear 

Employees at the outdoor apparel company’s corporate office returned to work on March 1 with a flexible hybrid model. Headquartered in downtown Portland, not every department is returning to the office right now, so it’s a bit “all over the place,” says Mary Ellen Glynn, Columbia’s director of corporate communications. While the facilities department has been at work throughout the pandemic, members of the corporate department are only now starting to return. “It will depend on the manager and the teams. We’re still learning here so we want to be flexible. Things might change in the future, as we learn how things work,” Glynn tells Portland Monthly. 

Stoel Rives LLP 

As Oregon’s largest law firm,  Stoel Rives LLP has adopted a flexible remote work arrangement. As of March 1, employees are expected to return to the office at least three days a week.  Per an e-mail statement from the Portland’s office Managing Partner, Todd Hanchett, “We are presently reviewing our Return to Office Plan in light of Oregon’s lifting of the mask mandate, but anticipate that we will continue to follow state and local guidelines for safely returning to the office.”  


Portland Monthly also checked in with Vacasa, a vacation rental management company based in Portland. But Vacasa’s Director of Corporate Communication, Tracy Pogrelis, tells us via email that plans for a return to the office are still being hammered out and the company doesn’t “have anything to share at this time.” So, stay tuned, we guess?

Show Comments