Some companies are ditching office space as a cost-cutting measure. The Wall Street Journal reports that Skift Inc., a 60-person business media company that covers the travel industry, will not renew its leases on office space in Midtown Manhattan and London when they expire. The company’s CEO says the move will save $600,000 annually, including expenses for utilities, office snacks and commuter benefits for employees.
While many workers embrace the flexibility to work from home, they may discover they miss the perks that have become more common in company break rooms and cafeterias. “The office is about to become a perk,” says entrepreneur and podcaster Scott Galloway. “It used to be an obligation, where you had to get up, put on a bad tie, get on a train and go to work. Now it’s going to be a place where I get to socialize with friends; I get to go to this cool cafeteria; I get to see my team.”
Galloway predicts that young workers will differentiate jobs based on who has an office that’s been vaccinated and will bring them in. “Young people want an office. Offices and the obligation to commute are about to become a feature, not a bug.”
Jonathan Webb, vice president of sales and marketing at KI, a Wisconsin-based office furniture and design company, says millennial and Gen Z workers value the community and collaboration that come with a common office space. “We know that newly hired graduates’ top desires are the latest and greatest technology and a sense of community and collaboration. Companies that cannot offer these two things are at risk of not being able to attract the talent they require to succeed.” Webb told Monster.com.
Young workers may realize that being present with supervisors improves their chances of being promoted. Studies show that people who predominantly work from home are promoted less, says Nicholas Bloom, an economics professor at Stanford University. He adds that for those who wish to move up the corporate ladder, they may need to be in the office to acquire the skills necessary to manage others.
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