Saks CEO: Work-from-home is “culture killer,” office must be default

Company will bring corporate employees back to offices in September

Saks CEO Marc Matrick with Brookfield Place, where the company has their offices. (Getty)
Saks CEO Marc Matrick with Brookfield Place, where the company has their offices. (Getty)

Many companies are grappling with what office culture will look like in a post-pandemic world.

For Saks, one thing is certain: The office will go back to being its primary workplace, with employees expected back at its Brookfield Place headquarters in September, the New York Times reported.

The company’s CEO, Marc Metrick, aims to make a statement about the impact the office market has on other facets of New York City, including retail and tourism.

“The work force is going to bring back the day trippers, and the day trippers and workforce bring back the tourists. It’s about having people feel good about coming to New York City,” Metrick told the publication.

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The company will require its 500 corporate employees to be fully vaccinated when they return.

That doesn’t mean the office that workers left at the beginning of the pandemic will be the same one they return to in the fall. Changes include a more open floor plan, fewer offices and rooms specifically designated for both Zoom and in-person meetings, the publication reported.

Metrick compared virtual systems like Zoom to the mainstream popularity of cigarettes, suggesting that the long term effects of virtual work could be harmful.

“Zoom and the virtual world is a culture killer for companies … There’s no way that having 900 people dispersed and only existing in an intentional Zoom world with no unintentional conversation is good for a culture,” Metrick told the Times.

[NYT] — Cordilia James