Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Paige McGlauflin, Joseph Abrams

Lyft’s CEO is taking a page from high schools to create a return-to-office plan

Portrait of Lyft CEO David Risher on pink and beige background. (Credit: Courtesy of Lyft)

Good morning!

For most, "homecoming" conjures an image of the American high school football tradition, culminating in a dance formal. (Or Beyoncé’s 2018 Coachella performance.) 

But at Lyft, it's the rideshare company's rebrand of its return-to-office directive after promising it would become a “fully flexible” workplace in 2022. CEO David Risher—who joined the company in April and subsequently laid off 1,100 employees and announced a return-to-office plan in his first two days—is trying to trademark the company’s September return as a school-like event. 

“We're literally calling it homecoming,” Risher said in a recent interview with Fortune. “Think about sort of that feeling of [the] first day at school. We're going to give tours…have some community groups where people can get together and talk about things that have nothing to do with work. We're getting book clubs set up. All the things you try to do to give a sense of community to work beyond just the basics of a keyboard and a mouse and a monitor.”

Risher says his return-to-office push is necessary for collaboration and building relationships. “It's really important to see people face-to-face just to build a relationship but also bump into people that I wouldn't bump into on Google Meets or Zoom,” he says.

For many, this will likely be their first job in person, Risher points out, and the company has designed its offices with that inexperience in mind. “You have to start with the basics,” he says. Such basics include well-lit ergonomic spaces and coordinating where teams are stationed in the office. "Quality of life stuff” is also important, he says, and the company will offer meal services and commuter benefits.

Employers and schools don't differ much in some ways, as both seem to have a penchant for attendance taking. And at Lyft, workers will be expected to show up at least three days per week. But Risher says the company won’t be too fussy about how employees spend their time in the office.

“We're not trying to recreate 2019. It's not five days a week,” he says, noting that Lyft has a four-week “work from anywhere” policy. And when employees come into the office, Lyft won't be prescriptive about when they show up. “Nine o'clock, 10 o'clock, 11 o'clock in the morning, that's fine. We don't really care about any of that stuff. We're just much more excited about the idea of periodically and regularly bringing people together.”

Paige McGlauflin

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.