Oct 6, 2020 - Health

MassMutual CEO shares concerns on remote work for younger employees

A screenshot of Erica Pandey and MassMutal CEO
Axois' Erica Pandey (left) and MassMutal CEO Roger Crandall. Photo: Axios.

Remote work makes collaboration among colleagues harder and "is just not the same," especially for younger employees and interns who never connect with their colleagues in-person, Roger Crandall, CEO of the insurance company MassMutual, told Axios at a virtual event on Tuesday.

What he's saying: "I'm worried about what it means for culture over time, particularly for younger workers," Crandall said. "If you have people who are deep into their career, who have worked together for years, working remotely is not as hard."

The big picture: Young adults just starting their careers face stunted opportunities for mentorship and growth while working remotely, and may struggle to build strong professional and social networks, The Atlantic's Amanda Mull writes.

  • Americans from ages 18-24 were more likely in a July CivicScience poll to say they had been significantly less productive than usual working from home and were more eager to return to the office than older, more experienced workers.

Of note: "We had interns this summer who never came into the office, and it is just not the same. So, I'm looking forward to it being safe to bring our employees back. ... I imagine we're gonna have some time of a hybrid model going forward," Crandall said.

What to watch: Crandall said access to public transportation in cities like Boston and New York is "absolutely critical" for a hybrid model to work, as well as schools offering in-person classes "so that people know where their children are going to be."

  • "My guess is we're pretty deep into 2021 before all that happens. Because it's going to require. a vaccine that is widely available and widely used. So we're going to be working on a more virtual basis than we ever thought for longer than we thought."

Watch the event here.

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