Shantanu Narayen, Adobe CEO, told CNBC on Tuesday that he believed that using an office brought benefits that widespread remote work, which became a necessity during the coronavirus pandemic, may not be could.
"Projects that are already in full swing have seen tremendous momentum, but when you're trying to create a new project you want people around this water cooler. You want that sense of urgency," he said in the "Squawk Alley ". "" "I feel like this affects productivity a little."
Narayen said Adobe, headquartered in San Jose, Calif. And with offices around the world, is sure to rethink its physical footprint – both where offices are and how they are used – due to the coronavirus.
Smaller satellite offices may have less priority. The staff may still work in these areas, "but we won't have the footprint that we did," he said. Larger locations like San Jose, San Francisco and "other hubs around the world" continue to play an important role in Adobe's future business, Narayen said.
"We will continue to have locations. They will be very different in terms of their setup, the structure and capacity they are attached to. But they are all areas that we are working on," he said.
Stressing that Adobe is in no hurry to ask employees to return to the office as the Covid-19 pandemic continues, Narayen noted that employees remain productive at home.
Expressing the need for continuous improvement in coronavirus testing and therapies, Narayen said he did not want to "get people back to work unnecessarily early if there are risks involved".
Adobe completed a renovation of its headquarters in San Jose a few years ago and laid the foundation stone for another downtown office tower in 2019. Construction was suspended due to the coronavirus but resumed in mid-May, according to Mercury News.
The future of corporate offices has been called into question after companies quickly switched to remote working earlier this year to slow down the transmission of the virus. For example, both Jack Dorsey's companies, Twitter and Square, have told employees that they can work from home "forever" if they choose.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, has predicted that around 50% of his employees will be working remotely in the next five to ten years. However, the social media giant recently signed a major lease for office space in Manhattan, yet another indication of the coronavirus impact on offices with no either / or result.
Narayen said Adobe's internship program this summer will be entirely virtual. "At any time of the day or night, I met with these interns around the world while they were apprentices at Adobe."
It also raised questions for business leaders to remotely build a culture in an organization, he said. For example, Adobe has more than 22,000 employees worldwide. Less than three years ago, the company had nearly 18,000.
"We're working hard to figure out how, when all these new people come on board, how we can convey the values to them? How do we develop the culture and bring their bright ideas to life?" he said. "With social distancing and the ability to actually have people in safe places happening, we keep working on it, but that's ahead of us."
"We have a large number of new employees and, just as we have in the past, we will be focused on assimilating them and making sure their great ideas benefit Adobe," he added.