Top CEOs discuss the return to the office

CEOs of top companies are torn about whether to bring workers back to the office, The New York Times reported Nov. 12.

There is no general consensus as to whether in-person, hybrid or remote work is the best path forward for employees and employers. 

The accounting and consulting firm PwC just greenlit remote work for employees forever. U.S Chair Tim Ryan said, "CEOs are now just beginning to realize that if you're employing thousands and thousands and thousands of people, you need to have multiple options." 

This summer, the firm also banned video meetings on Friday and allowed employees to end Fridays at midday. 

"It's just catching up with how fast the world is moving," Mr. Ryan said. 

Arvind Krishna, the chief executive of IBM, told The New York Times that the company has let employees dictate their own terms. 

"Why should I, as an employer, care as long as you can get the work done and you’re highly productive?" he said. Employees can come in any time they want, as long as they are productive.

Christopher Merrill, the CEO of Harrison Street, though, has brought his employees back. The asset management firm head spoke to the value of serendipitous encounters in the office and how they can create development opportunities. 

"It's very, very important for the younger people to be together. That is where they learn. That is where they grow. That is where you're going to create upward mobility," he said. 

CEOs seem to have varying expectations for the future of office work, depending on industry and necessity. What they all agree on is that the pandemic has radically altered the course ahead for work. 

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