Meesho pulls plug on work-from-anywhere policy, introduces flexible model


SoftBank-backed ecommerce platform Meesho, on Friday announced that it is adopting a flexible work office model starting 1 June 2023, giving up on its permanent work-from-anywhere policy which was announced almost a year ago.

For employees relocating to Bengaluru, Meesho will cover relocating expenses, including travel, real estate brokerage, goods transportation, school readmission and sponsored daycare facilities for children under 6 years of age.

“In a recently conducted survey, the majority of our employees expressed the need for more in-person connects to foster collaboration, live our culture of speedy execution, and form informal bonds,” Meesho said in a blog.

“As a result, starting June 1, 2023, Meesho will adopt a Flexi-Office model combining the flexibility and convenience of remote work with the energy and enthusiasm of periodic in-office presence. Employees will come to the office one day a week and can continue to work remotely for the rest of the week,” the company added.

Meesho had announced its permanent work-from-anywhere policy in February. “Leaders need to acknowledge that employees‘ psychological & physical safety is more important than their location of work,” Vidit Aatrey, founder and chief executive officer, Meesho had said at that time.

Founded in 2015 by IIT Delhi alumni Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal, Meesho began as a social commerce platform where anyone could list and sell their products. However, now it has grown into a proper e-commerce platform to pit against the likes of Walmart-owned Flipkart as well as global ecommerce giant Amazon. It also competes against DealShare and CityMall.

The platform currently has sellers and buyers mostly from tier-2 and beyond cities and towns, with most of its sales coming from the apparel category. Products such as kitchen appliances, jewellery, footwear and grocery are also sold on that platform.

In 2021, the company raised over $870 million in funding via two tranches in 2021 from Fidelity, SoftBank and B Capital. It was last valued at $4.9 billion in September 2021. It also counts Prosus, Sequoia Capital, Trifecta Capital Advisors and Good Capital as its investors.

In August, the company laid off hundreds of employees after shutting down Superstore, its grocery marketplace vertical, in over 90% of operational cities in India, except Nagpur and Mysuru.

Meesho calling employees back to the office for one day a week comes in the backdrop of a receding pandemic and the opening up of physical offices across all the metro cities.

Several homegrown startups as well as IT corporations like Infosys, TCS and Wipro, among others, have pulled the plug on work from home policy to adopt a hybrid policy seeking employees‘ presence in physical offices for at least a few days in a week.

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