Disney CEO Bob Iger tells staff to return to the office 4 days a week, saying 'nothing can replace' in-person work

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  • Disney staff have been told to return to the office four days a week from March.

  • CEO Bob Iger, who returned to the company in late 2022, announced the policy in a memo to staff.

  • The change would benefit Disney's "creativity, culture, and our employees' careers," he said.

Disney CEO Bob Iger has told staff to return to its offices four days a week.

From the start of March, staff working "in a hybrid fashion" will need to work at Disney's offices most days, likely from Monday to Thursday, CEO Bob Iger told workers on Monday in a memo obtained by Insider.

"It is my belief that working together more in-person will benefit the company's creativity, culture, and our employees' careers," Iger told staff.

"In a creative business like ours, nothing can replace the ability to connect, observe and create with peers that comes from being physically together, nor the opportunity to grow professionally by learning from leaders and mentors," he added.

For roughly the past year, most Disney staff have been required to visit the office three days a week, The New York Times reported.

Disney is following in the footsteps of other companies who have told staff to return to the office as coronavirus cases largely decline. Many bosses have highlighted the importance of in-person work for communication and collaboration.

Goldman Sachs, however, found that productivity jumped during the pandemic when many people were required to work from home. Benefits include saving time commuting and not attending non-essential meetings. Employees can also work more flexibly, allowing time for childcare and other caring commitments.

The pandemic has triggered a huge shift in attitudes to work and some companies have said that their staff can work from home forever.

A working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that more than half of survey respondents expressed a willingness to accept a "sizable" pay cut – of 5% of more – for the option to work from home part of the week.

Iger returned as CEO of Disney in November in a surprise move, replacing Bob Chapek who had been at the helm for close to three years and had to lead the company throughout the pandemic, including lockdown-mandated park closures, huge strains on the movie industry, and the necessity to work from home.

Before Chapek was appointed, Iger had served as CEO for around 15 years. Many Disney staff and analysts celebrated his return after a tumultuous few months at the company including a $1.5 billion quarterly loss in its streaming business, backlash over price increases at its theme parks, and a staff walkout and intense public criticism over Chapek's response to Florida's "Don't Say Gay" law.

Read the original article on Business Insider