Netflix CEO Reed Hastings Doesn’t See ‘Any Positives’ in Working from Home

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Reed Hastings made the comments in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, saying he would like employees to return to Netflix offices almost immediately after a coronavirus vaccine is approved.

“No. I don’t see any positives,” Hastings said when asked about the benefits of working from home. “Not being able to get together in person, particularly internationally, is a pure negative. I’ve been super impressed at people’s sacrifices.” He added that remote work makes “debating ideas” harder to do.

He told the Journal that he would like to see employees return “twelve hours after a vaccine is approved.” He added: “It’s probably six months after a vaccine. Once we can get a majority of people vaccinated, then it’s probably back in the office.”

But Hastings suggested that employees may not be required to work in the office full time, saying that many companies are experimenting with allowing people to work one day a week at home. “If I had to guess, the five-day workweek will become four days in the office while one day is virtual from home. I’d bet that’s where a lot of companies end up.”

Facebook and Google are allowing employees to work from home through at least July 2021, while Twitter has said that employees can continue working from home indefinitely.

Reed Hastings spoke to the Journal to promote his book No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention. Among the book’s subjects is Netflix’s notorious “Keeper Test,” in which managers fire employees who aren’t “stars.”

Netflix has gained a reputation in Hollywood for its rough internal culture where people are expected to communicate in a forthright and even confrontational manner.

“You have to think about it in terms of giving feedback: It’s producing enough discomfort for learning, but not so much discomfort that you’re attacking the person or it feels like that,” Hastings said.

The digital streaming company — which has a production deal with Barack and Michelle Obama — is headquartered in Los Gatos, California, but its main studio operation is in the heart of Hollywood on Sunset Blvd.

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