In a recent memo, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has mandated that corporate staff return to the office three days a week starting January 31. Schultz expressed his disappointment in the number of employees who failed to adhere to the previous policy of at least one day in the office per week. The new directive applies to employees within commuting distance of the company’s Seattle headquarters and requires them to be present on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with the third day to be determined by their respective teams. Similar conditions apply to staff near regional offices.
Throughout the pandemic, Starbucks had allowed its employees to work remotely. However, their attempts to gradually bring back workers for one or two days a week had proven unsuccessful, according to Schultz’s memo. He highlighted the discrepancy between corporate staff and baristas, stating that the latter did not have the privilege of working from home.
When asked for comment, Starbucks did not immediately respond to Insider’s request.
Howard Schultz, who previously served as CEO from 1986 to 2000 and from 2008 to 2017, returned for his third stint as CEO in April 2022 after Kevin Johnson’s departure. Schultz admitted during a New York Times’ DealBook event in June that encouraging employees to return to the office had been challenging. He had even gone to the extent of pleading with them, expressing his willingness to do push-ups or any other requested tasks to convince them to come back.
Starbucks is now part of a growing list of companies that are implementing policies requiring employees to return to the office for a portion of the week. Elon Musk ended remote work at Twitter shortly after taking over in October, and Disney’s CEO Bob Iger recently stated that staff should be present in the office for four days a week, emphasizing the value of in-person collaboration.
As Starbucks moves forward with its plan, it remains to be seen how employees will respond to the new policy and if it will achieve the desired balance between remote and in-office work.