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What CEOs think of remote work

What CEOs think of remote work
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By CNBCTV18.COMMar 25, 2022 2:32:32 PM IST (Published)

While most CEOs are doubtful of the future of remote work, the growing demand of the workforce for flexible working stands in contrast to that.

As many companies have begun to ask their employees to return to office after the pandemic, many still prefer the freedom of remote working. While some companies are more flexible than others, this is what a CEO had to say about the situation.

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“Do whatever you want. As a CEO, what do I care? If you get your work done, that's all that matters,” said Dan Price, CEO of Gravity Payments on Twitter. Price tweeted about a poll asking employees about their preferences for workplace models.
More than half wanted to continue working from their homes while 7 percent wanted to return to office full-time. The remaining wanted a hybrid model. Price’s solution to the problem was simple -- let the workers do as they prefer as long as they get the work done.
But Price’s philosophy is an unusual one. After all, what else could be expected from the CEO who shot to fame after announcing that all his employees would be earning $70,000 with annual raises each year while cutting down his own salary from $1 million to $70,000?
Other CEOs, especially of some of the biggest companies in the world have had differing views about remote work.
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CEOs of giants like Netflix, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan have all indicated that they are not big believers in remote work.
“No, I don’t see any positives. Not being able to get together in person, particularly internationally, is a pure negative,” said  Netflix co founder and co-CEO Reed Hastings in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
“I do think for a business like ours, which is an innovative, collaborative apprenticeship culture, this is not ideal for us,” said David Solomon, the CEO of Goldman Sachs. “And it’s not a new normal. It’s an aberration that we’re going to correct as soon as possible.”
JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon also held that remote working removed possibilities of collaboration and osmotive learning. “I mean most of us learn by an apprenticeship system, by seeing mistakes, going (on) trips, how to handle a client, how do you handle the problem. It’s hard to inculcate culture and character and all those things. It’s very hard to build and develop a deeper relationship on Zoom,” he said.
Some other CEOs, however, are in agreement with Price.
"I’m sorry to all my friends, but we’re not all going back (to the office)," said Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff.
“We can get talent anywhere. There’s a lot of folks out there that do not want to move to San Francisco. They feel comfortable working in a much smaller office or just home,” Twitter founder and former-CEO Jack Dorsey had said.
It’s not tech blazers who hold this view either. BlackRock’s Larry Fink held the same thought.
“I don’t believe BlackRock will be ever 100 percent back in office. I actually believe maybe 60 percent or 70 percent, and maybe that’s a rotation of people, but I don’t believe we’ll ever have a full cadre of people in (the) office,” Fink said at the digital Morningstar Investment Conference.
But quite a few CEOs like the Oracle of Omaha himself are of the view that the new normal is here already, whether companies want to adapt is on their discretion.
“The supply and demand for office space may change significantly. A lot of people have learned that they can work at home, or that there are other methods of conducting their business than they might have thought from what they were doing a couple of years ago. When change happens in the world, you adjust to it,” said Warren Buffet.
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