The startup’s CEO praised the employee who sold a dog to comply with the back-to-work policy [Boss Insurance]

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By Anviksha Patel

The chief executive of a Utah-based digital marketing and tech company praised a worker who gave up his dog and offered workers bonuses to quit if they didn’t like his return policy at work.

In a virtual bare-knuckle meeting at Utah-based Clearlink last week, CEO James Clarke said he was asking staff to give their “blood, sweat and tears” to the company after a recent round of layoffs and a pivot to mostly in-house staff work, first reported by Vice on Wednesday. MarketWatch also viewed a recording of the meeting.

Recalling past town halls where he was criticized, he told his staff: “You have misinterpreted my kindness as weakness.

Clarke then offered salaried staff a $5,000 bonus to quit if they were unhappy with the back-to-office policy.

“If the prospect of going back to an office or the structure of what’s on offer for the minority of you negatively affects, again if it’s too much to bear, we understand that,” Clarke told the town hall. “I can’t change your level of happiness and I’m sure you’ll find plenty of happiness and opportunity elsewhere and earn an extra $5,000 in the process.”

Read: Employees were asked about their canceled bonuses. So the CEO warned them against living in ‘Pity City’.

He acknowledged the efforts of an employee who sold his family dog ​​after hearing plans to return to the office, adding that it “breaks my heart as someone who has been at the forefront of the movement to humanize people. pets in other businesses we’ve built”.

Clarke has a separate business, Clarke Capital Partners, which includes a pet care and insurance company in its portfolio.

Clarke appeared to offer an explanation for the new policy, suggesting that some remote employees had all but left the company.

“Some have already quietly quit but are getting a paycheck and a month this year alone I got data that about 30 of you haven’t even opened or opened laptops and that’s all remote employees, including their manager.”

Also: Forget “quietly stop”. Some workers are all about the “strict Monday minimum”.

Clarke also called out developers who he said held multiple jobs and content writers who he said used artificial intelligence to complete their work. “I can do it in about 30 minutes of an eight-hour workday,” he said.

He also indicated that parents trying to juggle work from home and childcare might not be optimal for the business. “Many of you have tried to take care of your own children and do it, while managing your demanding work schedules,” he said.

But he then added that this path was “neither fair to your employer nor fair to these children”.

“Now, I don’t necessarily believe that, but I believe that only the rarest of full-time caregivers can also be productive, full-time employees at the same time,” he added.

A Clearlink spokesperson said in a statement that the four-day work week for Utah-based employees was put in place to “achieve our collective goals.”

“We look forward to these team members joining us at our new, world-class global headquarters in Draper, Utah, and appreciate the efforts of all of our dedicated team members, including those working in the office. and those who will continue to work remotely – as we do our best work together,” he added.

Plus: Workers are disengaged — but don’t blame remote work. The real cause is elsewhere

-Anviksha Patel

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04-22-23 1254ET

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