Starbucks’ corporate office in Seattle will require workers to be in-office at least three days per week if they are within driving distance. This is according to a memo from CEO Howard Schultz.
Starbucks is just one of many large corporations that are firmly against employees working remotely. This follows COVID-19 safety protocols and Disney’s announcement in January 2023 that employees must go to work a minimum of four days per week.
Apple has recently established a policy of three in-office days per week. Snapchat’s parent company requires that 80% of employees work in-office according to CNN.
Employees who live “within walking distance” of the Starbucks Support Center must start going to work three times per week. This includes Tuesday and Wednesday starting January 30, 2023.
Lockdowns at both its headquarters and stores had a devastating effect on the company’s culture and ability to connect with people.
“The SSC has lost a real human connection. This must be rebuilt. We are at great risk if we don’t do this as soon as possible after the pandemic,” said the CEO.
Schultz claims that company members promised to return to work but haven’t and that others have been unfairly treated.
The leader of the coffee giant noted that “partners in our offices have had to have the privilege of not coming to the workplace… each one of us made a commitment to each other to be there between one and two days per week.”
He explained that “from our badging data it’s clear a good amount of SSC partners don’t meet their minimum promise of one daily per week.”
Schultz explains that the main reason for forced returns is a lack of speed and prioritization.
He said that “we are having trouble operationalizing decisions quickly, and thoughtfully.” He described the work-from-home atmosphere as being in “silos.”
Sara Kelly, Executive Vice President, and Chief Partnership Officer addressed the headquarters, stressing the importance of a “cultural bubble”, which the company has lost. Kelly spoke of a unique set of “rituals,” such as coffee-tasting and story-telling, or simply meeting up with friends between meetings.
Starbucks stock rose more than 5% in the first 2 weeks of 2023 despite the problems.