The main story
WeWork has made quite a stir this month by adding in commentary to the beaten "future of work" debate.
In a recent Wall Street Journal article, WeWork CEO Sandeep Mathrani stated that employees who are the least engaged are “very comfortable working from home.”
Mathrani cites that the most productive workers are the ones who are eager to return to the office if they’re not already there.
In April, previous research released by WeWork states that two-thirds of employees are willing to pay for access to office space in favor of hybrid work.
After online backlash, including sarcastic tweets from fellow CEOs, Mathrani has since issued an apology citing that he didn’t want to “cast a negative light” on anyone who prefers working from home.
Sweeping statements be damned—way to promote a self-serving message.
It’s no surprise that the CEO of a company that relies on employees working in physical spaces is biased towards employees eager to return to the office.
Bias is unavoidable, but it makes it difficult to take anything leaders say seriously when they disparage anything (or anyone) that goes against the grain of their own profitability.
That’s the funny thing about data and research: it can tell any story you want it to tell.
Perception is often more important than the message itself. If your message is to promote how you’ll support the future of work, alienating a large percentage of how employees want to work going forward isn’t the way to go.