Thousands of Disney employees have taken a stand against a directive issued in January by CEO Bob Iger, warning him that the directive will have dire consequences for The Walt Disney Company.
In January, recently-reinstalled Disney CEO Bob Iger sent an email to hybrid employees–those who work remotely all or some of the time–advising them that as of March 1, 2023, Disney employees “currently working in a hybrid fashion will be asked to spend four days a week onsite, targeting Monday through Thursday as in-person workdays.” Iger backed up the policy change, saying in his email “in a creative business like ours, nothing can replace the ability to connect, observe, and create with peers that comes from being physically together.”
Long story short, Iger issued a decree that lands hybrid employees back at the office Monday through Thursday.
But such a decree did not sit well with many employees–thousands, in fact, who’ve now drafted and signed a petition to Mr. Iger, warning him that such demands on his part could have dire consequences for the company, per The Washington Post:
“More than 2,300 employees signed the petition asking CEO Bob Iger to reconsider the mandate, which ranks among the strictest for big companies in the post-pandemic era, arguing that it is ‘likely to have unintended consequences that cause long-term harm to the company,’” The Post reported, adding that the company employees more than 200,000 people in total.
Those against the new mandate say that the change will cause “forced resignations among some of our most hard-to-replace talent and vulnerable communities.” Additionally, the employees argue that such demands for hybrid employees will “dramatically reduce productivity, output, and efficiency.”
“This policy will slow, or even reverse, our post-COVID recovery and growth by creating critical resource shortages and causing irreplaceable institutional knowledge loss,” the petition continues.
“I think everyone has adjusted really well to the flexibility at Disney that was rolled out during the pandemic,” said one unnamed Disney employee. “For that to all go away suddenly was really scary for a lot of people.”