WeWork CEO sparks backlash after claiming workers who want to return to offices are most ‘engaged’

‘Sounds like something someone who gets paid to rent office space would say,’ one person tweeted

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Wednesday 12 May 2021 19:39
Comments
Leer en Español

The CEO of WeWork is being mocked after claiming that companies can identify their “most engaged” workers by looking at those who want to return to the office.

Sandeep Mathrani, who has worked for the office-sharing company since February 2020, made the comments while speaking at the The Wall Street Journal’s Future of Everything Festival on Wednesday.

“Those who are uberly engaged with the company want to go to the office two-thirds of the time, at least,” he said, adding: “Those who are least engaged are very comfortable working from home.”

While speaking with the outlet, Mathrani also claimed that people are “happier when they come to work,” and that the post-pandemic conversation will not be about whether employees should return to their office or not, but rather how many days a week they will be in the office.

“The bigger issue is do you come to work five days a week or do you come to work three days a week? That’s the bigger issue. There’s no issue of not coming to a common place,” he said.

According to Mathrani, in addition to proving which employees are most-dedicated to their companies, a return to the office will also help workers - as it will allow them to “reinstate boundaries between work and home life”.

On social media, the WeWork CEO’s comments were mostly met with amused responses, with many pointing out that Mathrani would be “biased” about the topic of returning to work considering his own role.

“I wonder why the CEO of a company that rents office space would say this,” one person tweeted.

Another said: “Says the guy whose company makes money selling office space LOL.”

“This is about as compelling a story as something like: ‘local barber thinks everyone should get a haircut twice a week,’” someone else joked.

Others compared Mathrani’s comments to a hypothetical Coke CEO claiming that the “person who drinks soda is your most innovative thinker,” while another tweeted: “‘Smoking is good for you’ said tobacco company CEO.”

As for whether WeWork offices will return to a pre-pandemic atmosphere, which included beers on tap and tequila shots, Mathrani said: “Fun is not defined by those aspects.”

“I’m 59 years old. I’m uber serious, and so maybe having an adult in the room will change that,” he said.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in