Following the implementation of remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic, Starbucks corporate employees are just not returning to the office “at the level” that CEO Howard Schultz demands. At a recent New York Times event in Washington D.C., Schultz said, “I have been unsuccessful, despite everything I’ve tried to do, to get our people back to work. No, they are not coming back at the level I want them to. And, you know, we’re a very collaborative, creative group. I realize I’m an old-school person and this is a different generation.”
Schultz promised to do “whatever” possible to persuade staff to forsake remote work and return to the office. He stated, “I’ve pleaded with them. I said, ‘I’ll get on my knees. I’ll do push-ups. Whatever you want. Come back.’” The Starbucks website claims that the business “reimagined our workplace to offer flexible options for eligible, non-retail roles. Hybrid workplace options depend on the individual role and are identified in our job postings.”
When Kevin Johnson departed in April, Schultz took over as interim CEO. Before Johnson, he served as the company’s CEO for over three decades. Amid a surge of unionization across thousands of locations, the corporation is now seeking fresh talent from outside to lead as CEO. Schultz’s appeal for employees to return to in-person work comes just days after Tesla CEO Elon Musk informed staff that if they don’t work at least 40 hours per week, they will be fired.