CEOs consider how productivity has been affected by working remotely – and anticipate a “massive war for talent.”

April 29, 20212 minute read

AWESOME LIGHTNING Rounds and other discussions have followed the dilemmas associated with creating the “next” workplace. Do we put our teams back in the office? Or continue to work remotely? Or create a hybrid?

For leaders running supply chain operations, an on-site workforce needs to be maintained, along with intensified health and safety protocols. And the competition for top talent in roles that don’t require being on-site is anticipated to become fierce.

Alan Murray, CEO of Fortune, moderated a conversation among 30 CEOS who he says are struggling to define what the post-pandemic world of work will look like. They reflect some of the same dilemmas voiced by AWESOME leaders.

The Fortune article titled “How Franklin Templeton plans to win the war for talent by making remote work fair” can be read in its entirety by Fortune subscribers, while the following selected comments are from the CEO Daily newsletter written by Murray.

“This is becoming a massive war for talent. If you are coming out of this and haven’t started thinking about whether your employees are going to be remote or not, well, your competitors are, and they will pick off your talent.”
—Jenny Johnson, CEO, Franklin Templeton

“This is the hottest market for talent that most of us have ever seen. If you are too prescriptive, and you have people who really prefer to work in a different way, there are going to be a lot of other organizations that are more than happy to say: ‘That company is going to make you come in X days, and we are happy to have you work at home’.”
—Joe Ucuzoglu, CEO, Deloitte U.S.

“We do actually need to get back out and be on the road…We have had high productivity for the last year, fueled by this crisis. But I personally am now seeing that productivity wane. We need to get back out, we need to engage with our customers, we need to engage with our workers, we need to do it safely.”
—Kevin Hourican, CEO, Sysco

“As we get into 2021…we have started to see a dip in employee engagement. You just can’t sustain these types of levels of productivity.”
—Sunil Prashara, CEO, Project Management Institute

“We are treating our employees as customers. They don’t pay you in dollars, but in hard work. That has led us to an employee choice model in the new world.”
—Tom Wilson, CEO, Allstate

“We have seen a massive increase in the need for corporations…to reskill and upskill their employees. In many ways, companies are becoming the universities of the future.”
—Andy Bird, CEO, Pearson