Will a recession force workers back into the office? One CEO thinks so
The CEO of an asset management firm is calling for companies to take a "harder line" in requiring employees to return to the office to address challenges to the economy, particularly a possible recession.
BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said employers should do a better job of convincing their workers to leave their remote work setup and go back to the office. He believes this will help increase productivity in workplaces and help solve the U.S.’s economic woes, particularly the rising inflation.
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In a recent interview with Fox Business, Fink mentioned a report from the U.S. labour department that showed a 7.4% decrease in the productivity among non-farm workers during the first quarter of 2022. He linked this drop in productivity to employees still being allowed to work remotely.
Using his own company as an example, the BlackRock CEO said they ask their employees to be "more mindful of their responsibilities in the office". The company has also taken a "harder line" when it comes to bringing their workers to the office.
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BlackRock’s back-to-office order
BlackRock COO Rob Goldstein and HR chief Manish Mehta earlier sent out an email to employees requiring them to work in the office at least three days a week.
"Time together is how we deliver for clients," Goldstein and Mehta wrote in the internal memo obtained by Yahoo Finance.
"All employees must work from the office at least three days per week, with up to two days per week working from home."
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While some exceptions to the 3+2 model will be allowed, the email made it clear that they will be rare and will require formal approval from the company. Employees with “extenuating circumstances” that prevent them from complying to the back-to-office order will have to submit a formal request for exception.
In the Yahoo Finance article, a BlackRock representative said the company adopted a Future of Work program, where employees are required to work three days in the office and two days at home. This split shift had been in place since the start of the Covid pandemic.