Wayfair CEO Neeraj Shah says employees need to work longer

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While many executives use this time of year to thank employees for their hard work and dedication, one told they shouldn't be “ashamed of” working longer hours – and “blending work and life” now that the company is profitable again.

“Winning takes hard work,” Wayfair founder Neeraj Shah wrote to his employees in a memo celebrating the e-commerce company’s recent success. It was first reported by Business Insider. “I think most of us, being ambitious individuals, find satisfaction in the joy of seeing our efforts materialized into tangible results.

“Working long hours, being responsive, and mixing work and life is nothing to be ashamed of,” he continued. “There is not much history in which laziness has been rewarded with success.”

Shah encouraged workers to be mindful of how company money is spent and to negotiate deals to cut costs.

“Are you going to spend the money on this, are you going to spend this much money on this thing, does this price seem reasonable, and finally – have you negotiated the price?” he said in an email to Wayfair employees earlier this month.

Wayfair founder Neeraj Shah urged his employees to work longer hours in a company-wide email. Getty Images

Wayfair had about 15,000 employees as of December 2022, According to her latest recording reported by CNN.

The Shah's letter sparked a violent reaction from economics professor Nicholas Bloom.

“If Wayfair wants to run a company where people work 80 hours a week, they're going to have to raise their salaries by 50% to pay them,” he told CNN on Thursday.

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Wayfair founder Neeraj Shah urged his employees to work longer hours in a company-wide email.
Shah co-founded Wayfair in 2002. Getty Images

Shah's net worth is $1 billion as of 2022. According to Forbes.

The online company, which sells furniture and other home goods, took off during the pandemic as thousands of lockdown shoppers turned to online retailers.

But profits faltered in 2022 as stores reopened across the country, according to CNN. That year, Wayfair laid off 5% of its employees.

However, an email sent by Shah this month said the company was back in the green zone.

“Together we can win much faster than we do now if we all row in this direction together,” he wrote. “Let us be aggressive, practical, frugal, agile, customer-oriented and smart.”

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