Lyft employees instructed to come back to the office as the new CEO outlines the company's vision
Following the layoff of almost 1,100 people, the struggling company informed its remaining employees to get ready for a sequence of modifications.
Amid the pandemic, Lyft staff have been working remotely, attending video conferences from their homes and spreading out across the nation like several other tech employees. The previous year, the company established this as an official policy, declaring that work would be "completely flexible" and subletting floors of its offices in San Francisco and other locations.
Things have now changed. During an all-hands meeting on Friday, David Risher, the new CEO of the struggling ride-hailing company, informed employees that they would need to return to the office for at least three days a week, beginning in the fall. This marks one of the first significant alterations he has implemented since taking on the role earlier this month, and it follows a 26% reduction in Lyft's workforce announced just the day before.
In an interview, Mr. Risher stated that "Things just move faster when you’re face to face." He argued that remote work in the tech industry has resulted in isolation and has eroded the company culture. "There’s a real feeling of satisfaction that comes from working together at a whiteboard on a problem," he added.
This decision, coupled with the recent layoffs and other changes, marks the start of a new era at Lyft. It may also indicate that some technology companies - particularly those struggling - are rethinking their stance on workplace flexibility. Gentle encouragements for employees to return to the office may soon give way to mandatory policies, as has been the case with Disney and Apple.
Will we all now have to return to the office step by step? What I've noticed lately is that it's mainly companies that are either in crisis or have a major transformation ahead of them. I think that the CEOs of such companies are under so much pressure that they think they have more control when all the people are on site. However, that's a fallacy, because at the end of the day, the key is to have the people on board who have the best ideas and are team players. That can all be done remotely.