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Workplace Culture

Executives, workers see future of remote work differently

Meghan McCarty Carino May 10, 2021
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Company leaders could end up doing more damage to their cultures by imposing a back-to-work plan without listening to employee concerns, says Harvard Business School professor Tsedal Neeley. nito100 via Getty Images
Workplace Culture

Executives, workers see future of remote work differently

Meghan McCarty Carino May 10, 2021
Heard on:
Company leaders could end up doing more damage to their cultures by imposing a back-to-work plan without listening to employee concerns, says Harvard Business School professor Tsedal Neeley. nito100 via Getty Images
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As increasing vaccinations make returning to the office a reality, tensions between workers and managers are rising about what that should look like. While Google, Twitter and Microsoft have embraced flexible and remote work, the heads of JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs have expressed frustration with it, as did the CEO of Washingtonian magazine in a Washington Post opinion piece that sparked a strong reaction from employees.

Most executives and workers say they prefer a mix of remote and in-person work, said Bhushan Sethi with business services firm PwC. But, “we are seeing a disconnect in terms of what executives, employers are looking for versus employees,” Sethi said.

PwC surveys found leaders favored more frequent office time sooner than workers did. Sethi said many top managers want to strengthen company culture and collaboration with in-person interactions.

But a lot of workers don’t want to give up their newfound flexibility, said Harvard Business School professor Tsedal Neeley. “It’s a critical mass. Their culture as they’ve known it has changed. People, individuals, have changed.”

Neeley said company leaders could end up doing more damage to their cultures by imposing a back-to-work plan without listening to employee concerns.

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