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WeWork's CEO said people who are most comfortable working from home are the 'least engaged' with their job

May 13, 2021, 04:30 IST
Business Insider
WeWork CEO Sandeep Mathrani (left)Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for Bloomingdale's
  • WeWork's CEO said employees comfortable working from home are "least engaged" with the firm.
  • Sandeep Mathrani replaced Adam Neumann, the former CEO and founder, who was ousted in 2020.
  • "Overly engaged" workers want to be in the office at least two-thirds of the time, he added.

WeWork's CEO said your desire to go to an office depends on how "engaged" you are at work.

Sandeep Mathrani, who stepped in as CEO of the coworking startup last year, said that people most comfortable working from home are the "least engaged" with their company, while the "overly engaged" want to go to the office.

"No one is saying they don't want to go to work. They are saying 'I wanna go to work two or three days a week' and 'I'd like to work from home a day a week,'" Mathrani said during The Wall Street Journal's Future of Everything festival on Wednesday.

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"It's also pretty obvious that those who are overly engaged with the company want to go to the office two-thirds of the time at least," he added. "Those who are least engaged are very comfortable working from home."

It's worth noting that WeWork's business model relies on filling office space. The company recently told investors it is expecting a dramatic upswing in occupancy in a pitch to value the company at around $9 billion.


Read more: Meet Google's $55 million man, Prabhakar Raghavan. Insiders detail how he quietly rose to become one of Sundar Pichai's most powerful lieutenants.

Mathrani said that despite the widespread remote work that came about during the COVID-19 pandemic, the office is an important part of building company culture, collaborating, and innovating.

Mathrani, the former CEO of the mall-owning giant General Growth Properties, took over as WeWork's chief executive in early 2020 after the company ousted founder Adam Neumann.

Mathrani also suggested that the reason more companies had announced plans to bring employees back to the office, or establish a "hybrid" work model that combines in-office and remote work, was because of the "Zoom fatigue" executives have experienced during the remote-work era.

Top companies are split on how to adapt to work post-pandemic. Though firms such as Twitter and Facebook announced a permanent work-from-home option for workers, Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan, said he's expecting employees back in the office within weeks and maskless by October. Amazon, too, plans to keep its "office-centric" culture.


Workers themselves reported feeling more productive at home, a recent survey from Upwork showed. Some business leaders told Insider that remote work had allowed them to broaden talent pools, thereby increasing diversity, and retain top employees.

WeWork declined to add additional comment.

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