NEW YORK – It seems Wework’s new CEO might also have a taste for controversy, albeit for reasons completely opposite to its former CEO Adam Neuman.
Sandeep Lakhmi Mathrani joined the company in February 2020, following the departure of its previous CEO and a botched IPO. The transition took place without much fanfare, however the COVID-19 pandemic hit soon after, causing their offices to remain closed due to Government enforced lockdowns worldwide.
However last Wednesday, he made a claim that created an uproar online, especially amongst younger professionals. According to Mathrani, it is the least engaged employees of a company who choose to work from home. Their most engaged employees, by contrast, are eagerly waiting to get back to their offices, according to him.
“Those who are uberly engaged with the company want to go to the office two-thirds of the time, at least,” Mathrani said at The Wall Street Journal’s Future of Everything Festival. “Those who are least engaged are very comfortable working from home.”
He also seemed to imply that clean rooms and good ventilation will be the new focus – instead of beer taps and tequila – when Wework opens its doors again. He also stated that he was ‘uber serious’ person and that things will change because he is ‘the adult in the room’.
By Friday, May 14th, Mathrani seemed to have backtracked and apologised for his remarks and clarified his comments were based on a report by Wework that included survey results from 1,000 C-suite level executives and 1,000 non C-suite employees across the US.
“What we know, from this new report, and from the conversations we continue to have with business leaders across industries, is that the future of work is hybrid and it is flexible – and our intent is to enable both.” he stated in a post on Linkedin.