WASHINGTON: Even as the global debate on work from home rages on, employees seem to be showing increasing reluctance to return to office. However, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz seems to prefer things the old way. He would like his staff to return and even if this requires him to do “push-ups” or whatever it takes.
Schultz returned to lead the American coffeehouse brand for a third time earlier this year, taking over from Kevin Johnson at a crucial time for the company as it deals with rising unionisation of its US workforce. Speaking at a media event in Washington on Thursday, he sees himself as an “old-school person” belonging to a different generation. “I said I’ll get on my knees. I’ll do push-ups. Whatever you want. Come back,” is how the Starbucks CEO seems to have pleaded his people to return to office.
Unfortunately, he has not been able to many any headway, as Schultz went on to say “No, they are not coming back at the level I want them to. I think people will come back two to three days a week and that’s the way — that’s the way it is.”
In an attempt to convince his people that he walked the talk, Schultz, who works from 7 am to 7 pm, said “The thing that I am evaluating is, what’s the level of productivity? And you know, it appears that people are working at home.”
Incidentally, Schultz has not mandated this, but presented “flexible options for eligible, non-retail roles” in the form of hybrid and remote positions. “Hybrid workplace options depend on the individual role and are identified in our job postings. Roles that do not have to be based in a specific location are labelled as ‘remote’ while roles that can be fulfilled in multiple locations, such as a combination of home and office, are indicated as ‘hybrid’.”