CEO says there's a false assumption that people like commuting into a business hub: 'They don't. It's a complete waste of time and money'

Mark Dixon, founder and chief executive of IWG, speaks during an interview in New York, U.S., October 1, 2019.
Mark Dixon, CEO of flexible office company IWG, said that employees don't want to go back to traditional office settings after the pandemic.REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
  • The CEO of a flexible office company told CNBC that employees don't want to go back to the office.

  • He said commuting into traditional business hubs is a "complete waste of time and money."

  • His comments come as conflict between companies and workers persists over return-to-office policies.

While major companies like Meta, Amazon, and Google continue to assess remote-work policies and office costs, one CEO isn't sugar-coating the way employees feel.

"There's this assumption that people like commuting into a central business district," Mark Dixon, CEO of flexible office company IWG, told CNBC. "They don't. It's a complete waste of time and money and they don't want to do it."

As companies that went fully remote during the pandemic have begun to request workers return to the office, there's been conflict over in-person mandates.

Starbucks' corporate employees have recently pushed back against the company's return-to-office policy, which requires working at least three days per week from the office. Amazon employees are divided on the company's mandate, which will require employees to go to the office at least three days a week starting in May.

Dixon, who founded his flexible office company in 1989, told CNBC that he believes this resistance to return-to-office policies will create a "shock" for the commercial real estate industry — especially as major tech companies evaluate the costs of their office spaces.

Amazon has done just that. After laying off thousands of workers earlier this year, the tech company has paused construction on its second headquarters in Virginia.

Google and Meta, which have both conducted layoffs over the past few months, have recently downsized their office footprints in cost-cutting measures. In February, Google asked some of its employees to share desks, leaving some office buildings empty. Meta decided against renewing its leases on two New York office buildings last year.

Dixon says these real estate reassessments can lead to opportunities — especially for companies like his.

He told CNBC that he envisions offices working like "a network of petrol stations," affording workers the opportunity to work anywhere. Dixon's company IWG now has over 3,300 offices spanning over 120 countries, according to IWG's website.

"[You can] drive anywhere in the country," Dixon said. "Work will be like that. You will find places to work everywhere, we network them all together and make them easy to use."

Read the original article on Business Insider