WeWork is offering some of its employees $100 a day if they feel comfortable coming into work amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Earlier this week, WeWork's COO Shyam Gidumal offered members of the company's community teams a bonus worth $100 a day or up to $500 week through the month of April as an extra reward for them working out of WeWork offices, according to an internal memo obtained by CNBC. The bonus applies to community teams in the U.S. and Canada. The existence of the memo was previously reported by the New York Times.
WeWork's community teams include associates who are responsible for supporting members' needs, including handling any mail or packages, on-site programming and member communications, among other services.
WeWork said the purpose of the bonuses was not to entice employees to come into work, but rather to reward employees who felt comfortable coming in. The bonuses, which will be paid out in a lump sum each month, are being given "in recognition of our community employee's willingness to support our members by keeping our buildings open and operating during these extraordinary times," Gidumal wrote in the memo.
Last week, WeWork executive chairman Marcelo Claure and CEO Sandeep Mathrani directed all of the company's employees, including community teams, to work from home through at least the end of March, according to a separate memo obtained by CNBC. Anyone working from home will receive regular pay for the time spent working remotely and aren't required to use paid time off, paid sick time or other leave entitlements, WeWork said.
Although WeWork's employees were told to work remote, many of WeWork's shared office spaces remain open to serve members who are "essential businesses," such as companies in the health care, financial services, manufacturing and food distribution industries, the company said.
"WeWork is a service provider and we have an obligation to keep our buildings open," Claure and Mathrani wrote in the memo. "We too have members counting on us to remain open so they can run their companies to generate revenue, pay their people, and continue serving their customers."
WeWork has increased building cleanings, reduced staffing models and made other changes to "prioritize the health and safety of you, our members and our communities," Claure and Mathrani wrote in the memo.
As the coronavirus outbreak has worsened, many states around the country have ordered nonessential businesses to close, in order to stop the spread of the virus. Last week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told non-essential businesses to keep 100% of their workforce at home. Businesses that provide essential services, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and food delivery, are allowed to stay open, but must make sure that employees and customers maintainat least 6 feet of space between each other. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio had pushed for the order amid an "explosion of cases" in New York City.
Here's the full memo:
U.S. and Canada Community Teams,
I appreciate your resilience as we navigate the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. I want to thank all of you for your tireless efforts both from your homes and on-site in our buildings to help our members during this difficult time.
Over the past few weeks, multiple states and local governments have instituted essential business orders and we expect that there may be more in the near future. Not only has WeWork been designated an essential business under orders we have reviewed, in addition, we have confirmed (by reaching out to our members in those locations) what all of us already knew, that WeWork is full of members whose companies are also essential businesses to us as a society as well as those designated essential under these orders (healthcare, insurance, food, cleaning supplies, mail and on and on). We will continue to support these essential member companies whose operations are critical to our society during this pandemic by staying open and accessible.
In recognition of our Community employee's willingness to support our members by keeping our buildings open and operating during these extraordinary times, we are pleased to share that those employees who staff our buildings are eligible for a bonus award that will be paid out in a lump sum on a monthly basis. The bonus will be based on each employee's contribution and presence in the office to address specific member needs. The bonus award will range from $100 per day and up to $500 per week. We will reach out early this week with additional details regarding the administration of this plan. It will remain in effect through April for Community team members in the United States and Canada. We are not changing the work from home policy for our Community teams.
For your awareness, U.S. and Canada members will receive a note tonight asking them to submit a support request or inform you via email if their business is essential, and in locations where applicable, exempt from state and local government orders. Portfolio Directors: please work with your CMs to document these members and respond to their specific needs. GMs and PDs will share updated guidance with you about operational specifics.
To best support our members remotely, please utilize our new Virtual Community Management Connect page. These processes and resources will increase visibility and ensure projects remain on track while you and your teams are not on-site, including:
For any questions, please reach out to your Community leadership. Thank you for your continued support.
Chief Operating Officer