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The office is dead, according to most startup founders

A recent survey of more than 500 VC-funded founders said they weren’t in a hurry to return their people to offices.

The office is dead, according to most startup founders
[Photo: Drew Beamer/Unsplash]

“If COVID-19 stay-at-home orders were lifted tomorrow, would you return your company/team to the office?”

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The answer was a resounding no, according to 65% of 517 venture capital-backed founders in a new survey from leadership coaching firm The Kung Group. Nearly three-quarters (71%) of them said that they would let some or all of their employees continue to work remotely when restrictions were really lifted. This may be due in part to the fact that 60% of CEOs polled claimed that there was no impact on their workers’ productivity. In fact, 16% said productivity actually increased.

The implications of these findings offer a glimpse into a post-COVID-19 work world. Sixty-six percent of CEOs are considering letting go of (or downsizing) their offices, according to the survey, because an average of 70% of employees who previously reported for duty at a company’s workspace would be allowed to work remotely once stay-at-home orders are lifted.

The majority predicted that mandatory shutdowns will be over by the end of Q3, and 67% said that they would make a sanitized/sterilized workspace a priority to keep their people safe. The majority (61%) said they would allow employees to continue working from home until they felt safe enough to travel and could manage childcare. These CEOs said their companies would not incur additional expenses to help their workers with childcare or commuting.

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About the author

Lydia Dishman is a reporter writing about the intersection of tech, leadership, and innovation. She is a regular contributor to Fast Company and has written for CBS Moneywatch, Fortune, The Guardian, Popular Science, and the New York Times, among others.

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