- Employees at the German software giant SAP are revolting against its return to office policies.
- Thousands of staff signed an internal letter that said they were “betrayed” by the firm’s “radical” pivot.
- However SAP’s CEO recently said he doesn’t believe virtual meetings can foster workplace culture.
German software giant SAP recently announced a return to office mandate, which has been met with backlash by thousands of employees, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.
Over 5,000 SAP employees have signed a letter posted internally — and viewed by Bloomberg — criticizing the company’s RTO policies and have threatened to quit as a result.
“We feel betrayed by a company that until recently encouraged us to work from home, only to ask for a radical change in direction,” according to the letter written by the company’s European Works Council, which represents SAP employees across the continent.
The company ordered its over 100,000 global staff in January to return to the office or work on site three days a week from April. This is a pivot from its flexible working policies introduced in June 2021, which allowed staff to work from home, remotely, or in the office.
The Council further outlined in the letter that “the absence of significant salary increases” over the years has forced staff to find ways to adapt.
“To compensate for this, we took advantage of the remote work possibility and moved where living costs were lower, away from expensive metropolises,” they wrote.
SAP’s CEO Christian Klein said last week that he doesn’t think a good work culture can be fostered via virtual meetings.
“I’m not a big believer that on a video conference platform, you can understand our culture, you can get educated, and you can get enabled to do your job best,” Klein said, per Bloomberg.
Business Insider contacted SAP for comment but did not immediately hear back.
There’s been a significant push to bring workers back to the office in the past year. A number of major firms have put in place strict return-to-office policies and are even tracking workers’ attendance, including Google, Amazon, Citigroup, and JPMorgan.