Tuesday, October 13th, 2020 October13th2020

Sell for More News: What CEO’s really think about employees working from home

Published on October 13th, 2020

Sell for More News is a weekly blog series with interesting information from the world of commercial real estate.


CEOs and other executives say they’ve seen enough to judge whether remote work is working. But the verdict depends on whom you ask.  Here’s what some leaders are saying about working from home and the value of an office:

“I don’t see any positives. Not being able to get together in person, particularly internationally, is a pure negative.”

– Reed Hastings, co-chief executive of Netflix


“I don’t believe BlackRock will be ever 100% back in office. I actually believe maybe 60% or 70%, and maybe that’s a rotation of people, but I don’t believe we’ll ever have a full cadre of people in [the] office.”

– Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock


“We tried it…It’s just not the same. You just cannot get the same quality of work.”

– Rajat Bhageria, CEO of robotics startup Chef Robotics


“The supply and demand for office space may change significantly. A lot of people have learned that they can work at home, or that there’s other methods of conducting their business than they might have thought from what they were doing a couple of years ago. When change happens in the world, you adjust to it.”

– Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc


“I don’t know the future better than anyone else. I think going back to work is a good thing. I think there are negatives to working from home…We’ve seen productivity drop in certain jobs and alienation go up in certain things. So we want to get back to work in a safe way.”

– James Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase


“In all candor, it’s not like being together physically. And so I can’t wait for everybody to be able to come back into the office. I don’t believe that we’ll return to the way we were because we’ve found that there are some things that actually work really well virtually.”

– Tim Cook, CEO of Apple


“That unplanned kind of interaction that contributes so much to how we build relationships with people and how we build culture, those things are what are missing.”

– Andi Owen, chief executive of furniture giant Herman Miller


“None of us really knows how this movie will play out if it continues like this for much longer.”

– Daniel Lubetzky, founder and executive chairman of snack-bar maker KIND LLC


“There’s sort of an emerging sense behind the scenes of executives saying, This is not going to be sustainable.”

– Laszlo Bock, chief executive of human-resources startup Humu and former HR chief at Google


“I am concerned that we would somehow believe that we can basically take kids from college, put them in front of Zoom, and think that three years from now, they’ll be every bit as productive as they would have had they had the personal interaction [of work in offices].”

– Ronald J. Kruszewski, chief executive of Stifel Financial Corp.


“We have adapted to work-from-home unbelievably well. I had a philosophy that I want to hire the best and the brightest even if they work from a different location, and now, ironically, we’re all working from another location. We’ve learned that we can work remote, and we can now hire and manage a company remotely.”

– Heyward Donigan, chief executive of Rite Aid


“Even in the Seattle region, where we have now sent a lot of people home, we’re realizing that some people would rather have workspace at work once the Covid-19 crisis goes away because they want dedicated workspace with good network connectivity.”

– Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft


“I think we’re going to be the most forward-leaning company on remote work at our scale, for sure, but we’re going to do this in a way that is measured, and thoughtful and responsible, and in phases over time.”

– Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook


“Most of us are not hermits…We need that social interaction, not only from a business standpoint but truly from a kind of personal-development standpoint.”

– Jim Fish, CEO of Waste Management


“What I worry about the most is innovation. Innovation is hard to schedule—it’s impossible to schedule.”

–  Ellen Kullman, CEO of 3-D printing startup Carbon Inc.


“It’s a much harder way to work for anything that requires a personal relationship. And as a consequence, I think we’re going to find that we maybe not go back to 100% in the office all the time. Because remote work clearly works for many things, but I think we’re going to find that being together delivers value in productivity and creativity and relationships that is irreplaceable.”

– Arne Sorenson, CEO of Marriott International


“If you’d said three months ago that 90% of our employees will be working from home and the firm would be functioning fine, I’d say that is a test I’m not prepared to take because the downside of being wrong on that is massive.”

– James Gorman, Morgan Stanley


“This is not going to change for quite a while…For probably the next six months, people are going to continue living in their office.”

– Jimmy Etheredge, CEO of Accenture PLC


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About Beau Beach, MBA CCIM

Beau is a tenacious Commercial Real Estate Broker, author and adoring father of four. His clients appreciate his no-nonsense demeanor and his legendary work ethic.

Beau leads Beachwood which is a commercial real estate broker for sellers in the Nashville, Milwaukee and South Florida markets.

He’s the author of the books The 3 Reasons: Why Most Commercial Properties Don’t Sell and True Wealth: What Every Seller Should Know About 1031 Exchanges.

Beau can be reached at 800-721-3287, click to schedule a call or Beau@soldbybeachwood.com