Inside L'Oreal's fight to reopen its offices, as employees and executives face off over the company's in-person work philosophy

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Inside L'Oreal's fight to reopen its offices, as employees and executives face off over the company's in-person work philosophy
A cosmetic display of French cosmetics group L'Oreal is seen at an Auchan supermarket in Nice, France, on March 14, 2016.REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
  • Beauty company L'Oreal wants its employees to come back to the offices.
  • The company, which employs nearly 11,000 people and whose brands include Garnier, Lancôme, and Urban Decay, has adjusted its plans for returning to the office according to local guidance, even as similar companies keep their offices shuttered.
  • The process of bringing employees back has caused backlash, as Business Insider previously reported in August.
  • The decision stems from a company philosophy that values in-person collaboration and on-site face-time, a leaked memo reveals.

One of the world's largest beauty companies is dead-set on bringing its employees back to the office.

L'Oreal USA, which employs nearly 11,000 people and whose brands include Garnier, Lancôme, and Urban Decay, is following through on an ambitious plan to bring its US offices to 50% capacity, even as similar companies keep their offices shuttered.

With offices across 13 states, L'Oreal has adjusted its plans for returning to the office according to local guidance. The company confirmed that capacity in the offices will not exceed more than 50% and that returning employees will be admitted to offices on rotating schedules that alternate with working from home time.

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But this process, while in line with state safety guidelines, has caused backlash from employees.

"They keep repeating how positive people are reacting and it's bull***t because no one wants to go back," a current L'Oréal employee who works in California previously told Business Insider. "It's pure gaslighting."

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L'Oreal's insistence on bringing its employees back to the office stems from a company philosophy that values in-person collaboration and on-site face-time, a leaked memo previously revealed.

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"The world of beauty is not a remote or virtual one," said president and CEO of L'Oreal USA Stephane Rinderknech in a May 28 memo to employees regarding the reopening of the offices.

Read more of Business Insider's reporting on the beauty company below:

Leaked communications reveal L'Oreal employees resent returning to the office as similar companies remain closed

'It's pure gaslighting': L'Oreal workers say they are being bombarded with screensaver images of smiling employees in the office, even as they dread returning to work in person

L'Oreal's US CEO says beauty is not virtual in a leaked memo revealing why the company is forcing workers to return to the office

After employee backlash, leaked email details how L'Oreal is moving to 50% capacity in its offices and requiring employees to clean their desks three times a day

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