Flexible offices giant WeWork’s boss has said it was not his intent to “cast a negative light” on those working from home, following a backlash over comments he made.
Sandeep Mathrani faced criticism on Twitter last week after he said: "Those who are uberly engaged with the company want to go to the office two-thirds of the time, at least." Speaking at The Wall Street Journal’s Future of Everything Festival, he also said: "Those who are least engaged are very comfortable working from home."
In a Linkedin post, Mathrani said: “I want to clarify that it was not my intent to cast a negative light on those who are working from home and I apologize if my comments were not clear.”
He pointed to a report that WeWork was involved in, which suggested a hybrid workplace model will be the way forward post-Covid-19.
Mathrani said: “Ultimately the findings overwhelmingly demonstrated that employees are energized about choice, about finding new ways to work - and CEOs are equally committed to providing options that work best for their people. As the CEO of a company that is proud to offer employers and employees greater flexibility than ever before, we will always continue to champion solutions that can actually meet the diverse needs of our workforce - whether that be working from home, utilizing drop-in space, going to a corporate office, or a hybrid of these options.”
The chief executive added: “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.”
WeWork, which has 60 sites in London, is among office companies to have seen building occupation levels hit since work from home where you can guidance was first issued last year.
Bosses are looking at various options for post-pandemic workspace, from shedding space at HQs, to taking on more flexible leases to enable a mix of home and office working.
But some firms have started encouraging people to prepare to get back to offices. June is when the work from home guidance is set to relax.