Joanne Lipman and Tom Gimbel join Brian Sullivan on CNBC’s Last Call to discuss Google’s decision to implement tough tactics in transitioning from full remote work to a hybrid model.
Lipman acknowledges the argument for returning to the office, highlighting the importance of serendipity and the limitations of productivity during Zoom meetings. However, she cautions that strict mandates requiring employees to be in the office can be arbitrary and may backfire.
Gimbel supports the idea of mandating office attendance, emphasizing the need for leadership and the challenges faced by companies like Google in switching their stance on remote work. He argues that these companies baited and switched their employees, falsely promising a permanent shift to remote work.
The discussion also touches on the consequences of these mandates. Lipman mentions that such policies disproportionately harm women and people of color, who benefitted from the flexibility of remote work, leading to increased participation in the workforce. She warns that forcing employees back to the office would result in losing valuable contributors.
Gimbel counters by suggesting that some employees who haven’t had the opportunity to work remotely should be considered. However, Lipman cautions that discriminating against those who prefer remote work or have limited face time in the office may result in losing talented individuals.