Kevin O’Leary: Remote work is transforming management

Telecommuters aren’t coming back to the office, says Kevin O’Leary, and some of the younger ones have never worked in an office.

According to the investor and shark tank star, which is changing the way companies and workers are run.

“Over the past three years, there’s been a new generation of workers – particularly in financial services, technology or engineering – who have no intention of working in an office,” he said. he declares. told CNN Friday. “They never did, they never will. People keep saying, ‘Oh, they’re all going to come back.’ They’re not.”

According to O’Leary, 44% of employees in his portfolio of companies are working remotely and “they’re not coming into the office, period. That’s it. That’s just how it’s gonna be.

He said that with an unemployment rate below 4%, his companies are forced to compete for workers, and “part of the negotiation is where they are going to work”.

When asked if remote work has hurt productivity, O’Leary said, “I found it didn’t change anything because they don’t know anything else. Some of them come out of college and started working from home. They’ve never worked in an office. Basically what’s changed is project management.

Remote workers, he noted, don’t work nine to five, and that doesn’t particularly matter in terms of productivity. “You say to someone, ‘Look, you have to do this by next Friday at noon. You don’t really care when they do it…as long as it’s done.

The trade-off for workers, he noted, is that there is “probably less private time on weekends.” He said he felt free to call his employees any time, any day of the week. “It’s the market. If you’re not working in the office, I can call you at two in the morning if we have a crisis. And they will respond. That’s how they are used to now.

O’Leary isn’t alone in believing the office’s shrinkage will last.

Marc Andreessen, co-founder of venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz, believes that if companies plan to bring workers back three or four days a week, “the spirit is gonein terms of workplaces being the primary source of connection in American life. “Elvis left the building for those kinds of environments,” he said at the American Dynamism Summit in Washington, DC, in November.

This can particularly harm young workers who have not had time to build professional relationships and start a family. The focus then shifts to where you live, Andreessen said. “Are you literally alone? Do you have roommates? Are you in a small [apartment] resort, are you in a large resort? Do you have any sense of connection?

The risk, he said, is that more workers will feel “alienated and lonely”.

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