Lyft’s new CEO David Risher announced another change for the ride-share company: Workers will soon have to return to the office.
On Friday, Risher announced “the first steps in a plan for a flexible model with more regular in-office work,” a Lyft spokesperson said.
“Personal connection matters and Lyft is about bringing people together,” a statement from Lyft said.
Lyft did not comment on the specifics of the plan but The New York Times reported Risher informed employees they would be required to return to the office at least three times a week – – Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays – beginning after Labor Day.
In an interview with the newspaper, Risher suggested remote work had isolated employees from each other, adding, “There’s a real feeling of satisfaction that comes from working together at a whiteboard on a problem.”
It’s a polar switch-up from Lyft’s previous policy. Last March, the ride-sharing company announced it would become a “fully flexible workplace,” giving its employees the choice of where to work and live while strongly supporting in-person team gatherings.
“A flexible workplace strikes the right balance between trust and choice — helping us do our best work while attracting and retaining top talent,” Lyft said in a 2022 blog post.
Lyft also last year decided to sublease portions of its corporate office space in San Francisco, New York City, Nashville and Seattle, Bloomberg reported.
The efforts are part of new CEO David Risher’s efforts to streamline the company as it still struggles to turn a profit.
Risher, an Amazon veteran who served as its first head of product and head of US retail, took over earlier this month after co-founders Logan Green and John Zimmer stepped down from their management positions.
The announcement about returning to the office came a day after Lyft said in an SEC filing that it would cut 1,072 employees – or 26% of its workforce – and eliminate 250 open positions.
Risher said Lyft would “significantly reduce” its workforce last week, adding the layoffs were aimed at making Lyft a “faster, flatter company where everyone is closer to our riders and drivers,” according to an internal memo.
It was the second layoff announcement since November, when the company announced a 13% workforce cut amid fears of an upcoming recession.
While Uber’s ventures outside of ride-sharing, like meal and grocery deliveries, helped its business, Lyft has not diversified. It had a lackluster earnings report for Wall Street in the latest quarter – its stock is down about 70% over the past year.