S&S Executives Empower Team Leaders to Customize Return-to-Office Plans

In a recent internal communication, Jonathan Karp, the CEO of Simon & Schuster, outlined a flexible strategy for the company’s return to in-person work. Publisher’s Lunch noted that the approach is notably decentralized, entrusting department heads with the responsibility to set work schedules tailored to their teams’ needs. This could range from full-time in-office work to a hybrid model or even a fully remote setup.

A Tailored Approach to Team Schedules

The company’s New York City headquarters, located in Rockefeller Center, will see some changes. Employees who don’t commit to being in the office at least twice a week by December 1 will lose their dedicated workspace. Instead, they’ll have access to a new communal office area designed for shared use.

Remote Work and Commuting Concerns

For those who were onboarded remotely or have relocated beyond easy commuting distance, there’s good news. These employees won’t be required to show up at the office, provided their managers approve. However, managers reserve the right to call these employees in as needed, with advance notice.

Embracing Team Individuality

The memo emphasized the importance of recognizing the unique needs and dynamics of each department. Karp stated, “We believe it is wisest to embrace the individuality of each group and respect the judgment of each group leader to determine what is optimal for their team.”

International Teams Get Local Autonomy

For Simon & Schuster’s international branches, the memo grants them the autonomy to establish their own return-to-office guidelines, taking into account local conditions and regulations.

This move by Simon & Schuster reflects a growing trend among businesses to adopt more flexible work arrangements. It acknowledges the diverse needs of various departments and empowers leaders to make decisions that best serve their teams. It’s a strategy that combines organizational coherence with individual flexibility, and it will be interesting to see how it plays out in the coming months.

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