Companies are now backtracking on remote work

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Amid looming economic instability and widespread layoffs, bosses are ordering their workers back to the office. Does it mark a permanent return to in-person working?

In January, Disney employees received a memo from CEO Bob Iger. Like other entertainment conglomerates, the media giant had been operating a hybrid-working policy, in which teams were allowed to work remotely twice a week. However, Iger explained in the memo, the company was now reversing course, mandating a four-day return to office beginning in March.

“As you’ve heard me say many times, creativity is the heart and soul of who we are and what we do at Disney,” he wrote. “And in a creative business like ours, nothing can replace the ability to connect, observe and create with peers that comes from being physically together, nor the opportunity to grow professionally by learning from leaders and mentors.”

Disney isn’t the only major corporation pulling back on workplace flexibility. Across sectors, companies including Starbucks, Twitter and auditing firm KPMG are mandating more in-person days, or even a return to full-time office working patterns. According to a January 2023 survey of 1,806 US workers by recruitment-agency Monster, while half of employers believe giving employees flexible schedules has worked well, a third who planned to adopt a virtual or hybrid model have changed their minds from a year ago.


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Chuck comes from a lineage of journalism. He has written for some of the webs most popular news sites. He enjoys spending time outdoors, bull riding, and collecting old vinyl records. Roll Tide!