To Return to the Office or Not? Experts Talk the New Way of Business

How are you feeling about returning to the office? We’ve heard all kinds of responses to this question, varying from “It’s happening, no ifs or buts,” to “WFH forever!” A recent CBS News Poll revealed that 60% of employees want to keep working remotely, at least part time. But what are well-known CEOs and business experts saying?

According to Tsedal Neeley, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School and author of Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding from Anywhere, when employees are able to feel a sense of autonomy at work, their job performance and satisfaction soar. “When people get breaks to do their laundry in the middle of the day, for example, what they really get is work/life flexibility,” says Tsedal.

People want the freedom to play with their kid, walk their dog, or do a couple chores during their breaks. “People are doing all that and productivity is still up — 70 per cent of the groups I surveyed told me their productivity increased,” says Tsedal. It’s that flexibility in their schedules that feels the most attractive to a majority of employees right now, Tsedal explains.

Not everyone is onboard the remote work train. Morgan Stanley (MS) chief James Gorman said at a recent investing conference, “If you can go to a restaurant in New York City, you can come into the office. And we want you in the office.” Gorman is not the only one who feels this way, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan says he expects vaccinated employees to return to the office after Labor Day.

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple seems to be leaning towards a more hybrid work schedule, making Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays mandatory in-office days for most Apple employees. A large percentage of Apple workers were opposed to the proposed schedule and pushed back.

Experts are saying it shouldn’t come as a surprise that people don’t want to return to old ways of working. Society has undergone a massive paradigm shift, old beliefs and ways of doing have been fading exponentially since the COVID-19 crisis.

“Individuals have changed. Organizations have changed. And many that I’ve even talked to who were completely looking forward to having everyone back and to return to the good old days have been stunned when they survey their people who say, ‘No, we want more flexibility and if we don’t get it, we will quit,’’ Tsedal explains.

Want to learn more about the new way of business? Need help deciding whether to choose remote, office, or hybrid? Our organizational change speakers and business speakers will keep you up-to-date on the latest trends and innovative ideas for our new ways of working:

Jonas Kjellberg – Chairman of the Board at Nornorm (backed by IKEA), Digital Transformation Virtual Speaker, Co-Creator of Skype, Author, and Investor

Jonas Kjellberg is a top digital transformation virtual keynote speaker, co-creator of Skype, author, and investor. As co-creator of Skype, he worked as Managing Director (equivalent to a CEO in the U.S.), helping generate 90 percent of their revenue stream. Currently, Kjellberg runs Gear Up Ventures, a company that focuses on implementing the innovation and entrepreneurship model set out in his book Gear Up.

Tsedal Neeley – Award Winning Author, Harvard Business School Professor and Keynote Speaker on Globalization and Digital Transformation

Tsedal Neeley is a top virtual work and organizational change expert, business thought leader, and a Professor at the Harvard Business School. Her new book Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding from Anywhere provides companies and leaders with the best virtual practices to perform at the highest levels.

Jeff DeGraff – Top Innovation Virtual Speaker, Business Professor, Bestselling Author, and “Dean of Innovation”

Jeff DeGraff is a top innovation keynote speaker, author, Professor at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, and founder of the Innovatrium. His simultaneously creative and pragmatic approach to making innovation happen has led clients and colleagues to dub him the “Dean of Innovation.”

Dr. Michelle Rozen – “Change Doctor,” Top Booked Virtual Keynote Speaker, America’s Leading Expert on Thriving Through Change

Dr. Michelle Rozen is a top virtual leadership keynote speaker and author. She has been featured on NBC, ABC, CNN, FOX News, and other news outlets discussing change, motivation, and how the human mind works to become exceptional in every area of our lives, personally and professionally.

Robert Sutton – Organizational Change Virtual Keynote Speaker, Stanford Professor, Bestselling Author

Robert Sutton is a top organizational change virtual keynote speaker, Stanford Professor, and the New York Times bestselling author of Scaling Up Excellence, Good Boss, Bad Boss, and The No Asshole Rule. He also speaks about and is working on The Friction Project. It focuses on why organizations make the right things too hard to do, the wrong things too easy, and how skilled leaders and organizational designers can avert and overcome these obstacles.

Interested in booking one of these top keynote speakers for your next event? Please contact to inquire.