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News

Survey: Many Bosses Want to Work From Home, Too

By:
S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Jul 21, 2023

While many younger workers resist returning to the office full time, top-tier executives are also preferring to work from home, at least part of the time, The Wall Street Journal reported.

A survey of 13,000 office workers in six countries published this month by McKinsey found that the largest share of employees who strongly prefer to work from home were those who earn more than $150,000. They said they were likely to quit their jobs if called back to the office every day. They were also willing to trade more than 20 percent of their compensation to work their preferred number of days at home.

Deb Andrychuk, the director of global talent attraction for Sony Interactive Entertainment, is one of them. She refused a lucrative offer from Lowe’s last year because she wanted to work from home, where she could take care of her aging dogs. Sony matched her salary and gave her permission to work from home in Davidson, N.C.

The survey also showed that 44 percent of the most senior workers retain their work-from-home preferences.

“People see [working from home] now as an expectation and not as a perk,” said Matthew Saxon, chief people officer at Zoom, in an interview with the Journal. The company allows workers to choose among working remotely, in-office or on a hybrid basis. Highly coveted job candidates often make their decisions based on that flexibility, he added.

Some companies are employing strategies to entice newly hired executives back to the office, even if is not for five days a week.

All of the 150 employees of Syndio, a workplace analytics firm, have worked remotely since the pandemic. Now, new hires are expected to be within commuting distance of one of four offices in Denver, Chicago, New York or Seattle, and to visit their local office more frequently next year.

Priceline Chief Executive Brett Keller, a fan of hybrid work, told the Journal that many employees at the Norwalk, Conn., headquarters come in once or twice a month. In recent weeks, executives have asked employees to come to the office once a week, though Keller said that is not official policy.

Some executives are relocating their offices to encourage team members and themselves to show up. Cowtan & Tout, a 40-person textiles company, moved from lower Manhattan to Brooklyn's Industry City, where lower-level employees are expected to come in every day. Many live nearby and have been receptive, in part because of Industry's City's relaxed campus atmosphere. The company’s five executives still have the flexibility of working from home one or two days a week.

There is still a downside to all of this, at least for real estate developers. Demand for traditional office space has dropped sharply and isn’t expected to return to pre-pandemic levels for decades, according to McKinsey’s report.