To Disney employees: Work in the office four days a week

To Disney employees: Work in the office four days a week
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The Walt Disney Co. has become one of the biggest media companies to join employers impatient with pandemic work norms, asking their employees to spend more time in the office.

On Monday, Disney CEO Bob Iger said employees working hybrid schedules would be required to start coming in four days a week after March 1, citing the company’s need for personal collaboration. As with other media giants like NBCUniversal and Warner Bros., most employees were required to come in three days a week under the hybrid program.

“Nothing beats the ability to connect, observe, and create with peers that comes from being physically together in a creative endeavor like ours, nor the opportunity to grow professionally by learning from leaders and mentors,” Iger said in a message. employees and shared with The Washington Post. “I believe that working more face-to-face will benefit the Company’s creativity, culture and the careers of our employees.”

Disney declined to elaborate on the matter beyond what was said in Iger’s message.

Disney joins the likes of Snap and vanguard Asking employees to spend more time in offices in 2023. While some firms are taking a hard line on returning to the office as the coronavirus pandemic recedes, others are treading lightly for fear of losing workers to mandates in a hot labor market. But as layoffs mount, especially among tech companies that have historically tended to work remotely, the balance of power is shifting toward employers, and some are using it to try to bring people together in person.

“You’ve seen a lot of companies and CEOs say they want more back than they actually have,” said Andy Challenger, senior vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. “I think a lot of companies have been waiting to take these steps.”

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Offices in the nation’s 10 top metropolitan areas remained less than half as full as before the pandemic in late December, according to slip data tracked by Kastle Systems.

Many employers have hybrid policies but have recently begun threatening to enforce them, Challenger said, with some arguing it’s unfair to continue to be unfair to workers who come in.

A clearer picture of what the “balance” in the job landscape will look like will emerge over the next year, he said.

It’s not just companies trying to get back into offices more fully, but there’s also pressure from cities whose urban centers are suffering from the shift to remote work. D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) called on President Biden to return federal workers to offices more often or reconsider how that real estate is used. As of October, there were commercial office vacancies in DC 15.1 percentUp from 11.8 percent in 2020.

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At his inauguration earlier this month, Bowser called on the Biden administration to “either bring most federal employees back into office or rezone large properties for use by local government, nonprofits, businesses and any user who wants to revitalize it.” ABC

While some firms, such as Goldman Sachs, are bringing employees back to their offices full-time from 2021, others a more phased approach in response to widespread employee demands for continued flexibility.

General Motors plans to bring its salaried workers back to the office three days a week at the end of January after nearly two years of remote work. The company tried to bring back its employees last year, but it has since backed down internal backlash.

“While we have maintained a highly collaborative culture during a very challenging period over the past two years, the intangible benefits of in-person collaboration will be a critical success factor as we move into a fast-paced startup cycle,” GM said. Chief Executive Mary Barra said in a memo to employees last year CNBC. “This evolution is about getting ready for the next phase of our transformation.”

According to Stefanie Camfield, human resources consultant and associate general counsel at Engage PEO, companies now pulling employees back into their offices are generally worried about struggles with collaboration or productivity.

But as he explains to his clients, who are primarily small and medium-sized businesses, workers have shown they won’t take kindly to rigid mandates or shifts that ignore their well-being.

“It doesn’t seem like cutting employees at this point ‘because we’ve always done it,'” Camfield said. “You have to have a good reason. You don’t want employees to think it’s a trust issue.”

According to Benjamin Blumenthal, senior broker at Noah & Co., a Manhattan office space specialist, the office is still somewhat attractive even for companies that started working remotely earlier during the pandemic. He said the customers he sees these days want more for their money. In some cases, they are even willing to increase their budget if they get a “big benefit”.

“Finally, there is a consensus among executives that the office is a critical part of the organization,” Blumenthal said. “But what that means – three days, five days, who, what, how, where and when – remains to be seen.”

According to data from job site LinkedIn, remote job postings are gradually declining but remain high compared to pre-pandemic levels. According to LinkedIn data, remote listings peaked in March 2022 when they accounted for more than 20 percent of all paid listings, up from less than 10 percent in January 2021.

By November 2022, only 14 percent of paid ads on the site invited remote applicants, despite widespread demand among job seekers for flexible working.

“Candidates’ appetite for these types of positions is so high that in recent months remote jobs have received 50% of all job applications tracked by LinkedIn – even though such positions make up 15% of the total job pool,” he said. in the year analysis was published last week.

Lee, who spoke only by his second name to speak freely about his employer, is an environmental consultant in Oregon. I went back to working full-time in the office last week for the first time since the pandemic forced me to work remotely.

“The wish is over,” I said.

Now that he’s back under fluorescent lights and surrounded by coworkers eight hours a day, he’s motivated to pursue other opportunities. The job offers coming into his LinkedIn account suddenly seem more attractive.

“I don’t mind coming a few days a week,” I said. “But there has to be some flexibility there.”

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