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The Return to Office: Implications for Work from Home Stocks and Companies Poised to Benefit
The COVID-19 pandemic reshaped the way we work, making remote work the norm. However, with the pandemic waning, there's a push for workers to return to offices, impacting stocks. Work-from-home stocks like Zoom, DocuSign, Atlassian, and Slack face evolving dynamics. Companies in commercial real estate, office supplies, food services, and transportation may benefit from the return to offices. Investors should monitor these changes and diversify portfolios for the evolving work landscape.
February 7, 2023


The COVID-19 pandemic brought about a seismic shift in the way we work, with remote work becoming the norm for many employees around the world. However, as the pandemic subsides and vaccination rates rise, there is a growing push for workers to return to the office. This shift has significant implications for the stock market, particularly for companies that have thrived during the remote work era, as well as for those set to benefit from a return to traditional office settings.

The Rise of Work from Home Stocks

Throughout the pandemic, a select group of companies saw their stocks soar as they provided the tools and technologies necessary for remote work. Some of the notable beneficiaries included:

  1. Zoom Video Communications (ZM): Zoom became a household name, with its video conferencing platform enabling businesses, schools, and individuals to connect virtually. However, as employees return to the office, Zoom may face increased competition from established players in the video conferencing space.
  2. DocuSign (DOCU): DocuSign's electronic signature technology boomed as businesses looked for ways to streamline paperwork in a remote work environment. While it may still be relevant, its growth trajectory might change with the return to physical office spaces.
  3. Atlassian Corporation Plc (TEAM): Companies like Atlassian, which provide collaboration and project management tools, experienced robust demand as remote teams sought efficient ways to work together. These tools are likely to remain important but may see some adjustments in usage patterns.
  4. Slack Technologies (now part of Salesforce): Slack's workplace messaging platform facilitated remote communication and collaboration. Its integration into Salesforce may help it maintain relevance as companies transition back to the office.

Implications of Workers Returning to Offices

As workers gradually return to the office, several dynamics come into play:

  1. Hybrid Work Models: Many companies are adopting hybrid work models, allowing employees to split their time between the office and remote work. This approach will maintain demand for remote work tools but may lead to changes in how they are used.
  2. Office Space Relevance: Companies specializing in office space management and utilization, such as WeWork and IWG, may see increased demand as businesses adapt their office layouts and embrace flexible workspaces.
  3. Corporate Wellness and Health Tech: Health and wellness companies offering solutions for in-office safety, employee well-being, and mental health support may experience growth as companies prioritize the health of their employees.

Companies Poised to Benefit

Several types of companies are well-positioned to benefit from workers returning to offices:

  1. Commercial Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs): As businesses reconsider their office space requirements, REITs that own and manage commercial properties could see renewed demand. Examples include Boston Properties (BXP) and Kilroy Realty Corporation (KRC).
  2. Office Furniture and Supplies: Companies providing office furniture, supplies, and interior design services may see increased orders as offices undergo redesigns to accommodate new working arrangements. Herman Miller (MLHR) is a notable player in this space.
  3. Food Service Providers: Cafeteria and catering services may see a resurgence as employees return to the office. Companies like Aramark (ARMK) could benefit from this trend.
  4. Transportation and Mobility: Public transportation companies, ride-sharing platforms, and bike-sharing services may see a boost in ridership as employees commute to work again. Uber (UBER) and Lyft (LYFT) are prominent examples.


The return to the office represents a significant shift in the post-pandemic landscape. While remote work will continue to be a part of our working lives, the dynamics of the work-from-home stock market are changing. Companies that adapt to the evolving needs of the workforce, whether by embracing hybrid work models or providing solutions for the physical office space, stand to benefit from this transition. Investors should carefully assess these changes and consider a diversified portfolio to navigate the evolving landscape of work and office dynamics.