The boss of the world’s biggest commercial landlord has accused remote workers of staying away from the office only so they can save money.
Steve Schwarzman, the chief executive of investment firm the Blackstone Group, called hybrid staff lazy and claimed they “don’t work as hard”.
He talked about these topics on a panel at the Future Investment Initiative summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
He said employees had kept working from home because “they didn’t work as hard, regardless of what they tell you” and also due to the savings they make on their daily commute, lunches, and work attire.
Schwarzman added that the continuing vacancies in office buildings in the US were a direct result of the rise in remote working since the Covid pandemic. That´s why it was likely firms would cut back on space once their current leases came to an end.
He said some of those properties were “not survivable as economic entities,” but that newer office buildings were proving resilient: “Demand for real estate such as warehouses is increasing.”
This seems to be an ongoing trend among CEOs. Recently, a KPMG survey found 64% of leaders globally, and 63% of those in the UK, predicted a full return to in-office working by 2026.