Wayfair CEO's Christmas message to employees: work harder


Wayfair's CEO sent an encouraging end-of-year message to the furniture chain's more than 14,000 employees: work harder.

Instead of focusing on workers' efforts and the company's profitability this year, CEO Niraj Shah encouraged employees to work so many hours that “work and life” become one, according to an internal memo obtained for the first time for Business Insider.

“Working long hours, being responsive, combining work and personal life is not something we should avoid,” Shah wrote, according to the report. “There's not much history of laziness being rewarded with success.”

A Wayfair spokesperson confirmed the authenticity of the memo.

“We are incredibly proud of our world-class team and our culture of open communication. In his note, which was sent to our salaried corporate employees, Niraj was reinforcing some of the values ‚Äč‚Äčthat have contributed to Wayfair's success, including questioning the status quo. quo. be profitable and work hard together to deliver results,” Wayfair said in a statement to CBS MoneyWatch.

Wayfair saw a surge in online sales during the pandemic era, but its revenue slowed in 2022 as shoppers returned to physical stores and shifted their spending to other products and services. Last year, the company laid off 5% of its workforce. It has since become profitable again, and Shah noted that repeat customers increased over the course of 2023.

Shah added that he wants employees to spend company money as if it were their own and to always negotiate lower costs when possible.

Would you spend money on that? Would you spend that much money on that? Does that price seem reasonable to you? And lastly, have you negotiated the price? “Everything is negotiable and if you haven't, you should start there,” she wrote.

Some critics took issue with Shah's message.

“Hey CEOs: When people don't want to work long hours, it doesn't mean they're lazy. It means they have lives beyond work,” Adam Grant, a professor of organizational psychology at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, wrote in Instagram.

“A team that offers 40 hours of excellence gets angrier than one that offers 50 hours of mediocrity,” he added.

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