wjr business beat

WJR Business Beat: Is This the End of the Office? (Episode 342)

On today’s Business Beat, Jeff Sloan reveals survey results on the impact of the Omicron COVID variant on the return to in-office work.

Tune in to the Business Beat, below, to find out what some businesses are doing in response to Omicron:

Tune in to News/Talk 760 AM WJR weekday mornings at 7:11 a.m. for the WJR Business Beat. Listeners outside of the Detroit area can listen live HERE.

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Good morning, Paul!
Well, here we are now a third of our way into January 2022 and it pains me to say it, but my staff at StartupNation is largely working from home once again. Just when we thought we were heading in the right direction along came Omicron, and with it more work from home and hybrid work.

And the thing is that business is hard enough without having to try to lead remote teams and to drive productivity and maintain cohesiveness and competitiveness and on and on it goes and having our teams at home, as opposed to here with us in the office just makes everything so much more difficult.

Now with this second wave of COVID, could this spell the end of the office as we know it? Well, I, for one certainly hope not. While health and well-being, no doubt, come first, I want my team back here with me in the office and I know they want to be here, too. So, the question is, is it ever going to happen? Well, according to a recent Gartner survey, 44% of American companies now have pushed back or altered their reopening plans because of Omicron.

Gartner also reports that about 27% of executives say that they’re delaying reopening plans, or once again closing reopened workplaces. Google is still undecided about whether they’re going to be reopening their office and have a return to their campus. Apple has also postponed its deadline for employees to return to the office to a date yet to be determined. And Lyft? Well, they told their employees that they’re not coming back at all during 2022.

Even New York’s investment banks, including Goldman Sachs, have workers now doing their jobs out of the office. And then there are people that are either employed or looking for new employment that are making it a requirement to work from home or else they’ll quit and simply go interview with a competitor next door who will allow them to work from home.

Simply put it’s a mess. And I, for one, I’m looking forward to having my team back in the office with me really soon. I know there’s so many others out there, tough times, Paul, it’s going to be interesting to see how all this plays out. Now on the bright side at least we have Zoom, right? Ugh, I’m so over it. Fingers crossed we will start turning a corner on this soon, and we’ll all be back in the office with our teams.
Again, I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of startupnation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.

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