The post Covid work model? Abandon the office at your peril.
You can’t open a newspaper or turn on the radio without being faced by an article about the future of work. Hypotheses are plentiful and varied - ranging from a snap back to normal from 2022 to the death of the daily commute. It’s a fascinating debate which has wider ramifications for the rest of society and the future shape of our lives.
Before I explore this subject, I must declare an interest. I sit on the board of Workspace Group plc, London’s leading provider of flexible office space. And I have adult children taking tentative steps on their career ladders.
As usual, the leading financial and professional services firms have been most vocal on their views of the future work models. The Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon recently called remote work an “aberration” and “not conducive to productivity.” On the other hand, PWC lead partner Kevin Ellis has offered his 22,000 staff a new “Deal” in which they need only spend 40% of their time in the office. And a half day on Fridays through July and August to boot. Some leading tech companies including Salesforce, Spotify and Twitter have gone further telling their staff that they can continue working from home “forever”. And “home” can be anywhere in the world.
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