Stephen Ross believes a recession will force remote workers back to the office

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The man who allegedly wanted his football team to collapse now hopes the economy will also collapse.

The pandemic has revolutionized the way many Americans work. And, after learning that those who work from home can be even more efficient than those who show up day in and day out for small talk and involuntary socializing that often impact productivity, many have decided they’d rather work from home. residence.

Now that the pandemic is over (even though it really isn’t, but that’s okay), employers want to put employees back under their direct supervision and/or thumb. Those who own huge commercial real estate properties do not want to see their properties become unoccupied and, in turn, worthless.

Enter commercial real estate billionaire Stephen Ross, who made enough in that business to buy the Miami Dolphins. Via, Ross told Bloomberg on Friday that he sees a silver lining in an economic recession. Employees will feel compelled to return to the office.

“Employers have been a bit hesitant because they didn’t want to lose their employees, but I think when you go into a recession and people are worried about not having a job, it will bring people back to the office,” Ross said. “Employees will recognize then that we’re going into a recession, or things are getting a bit tighter, that you have to do what it takes to keep your job and earn a living.”

This is a short-sighted and cynical view of worker productivity. If people can work as well if not better remotely than when crammed into a largely artificial space with largely artificial lighting, largely artificial air, and largely artificial relationships, why force them to do something that would make them less effective, less fulfilled and less happy?

“Every leader recognizes that people have to work together,” Ross said. “You have to train your workforce and educate them and you work as a team. You are not working as individuals.

But many people work well as individuals. PFT’s editorial team is spread across the country, from New York and West Virginia to Chicago, Texas and Los Angeles. We are in constant communication by SMS. We are rarely together. We are all productive.

Likewise, for two seasons, I contributed to Football night in America from a studio to my home, avoiding 14 hours of weekly travel and all that goes with it, while being able to focus on my duties in an environment much more conducive to maximum production throughout some very hectic. It’s better for PFT, better (and cheaper) for NBC, and better for me personally.

Not every business can thrive this way, I know. But not every business needs to bring humans into a shared space, where all sorts of potentially unfortunate interactions can occur, from someone eating someone else’s chicken salad has been left in the fridge to various forms of harassment that can become legally actionable.

Again, Ross has a clear bias. There’s no money in commercial real estate if offices shrink or, in some cases, disappear. So while a recession would be bad for the country, it will be good for commercial real estate moguls who might otherwise see demand for their products continue to decline and eventually evaporate. completely.

There’s an obvious irony in Ross’ take on this. He lives and works in New York, not Miami. She would benefit from his presence on a daily basis. Without him there, turf battles and personal agendas and infighting have made the franchise dysfunctional enough to be rarely relevant. Owners who show up at their teams’ facilities every day love to compete against teams whose owners are essentially absentee owners.

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