Over the past few months, many governments shuttered cities and asked their citizens to stay at home to slow the spread of COVID-19. While these stay-at-home orders and altered business operations have led to economic difficulties for many companies, Peloton has thrived as people have looked for at-home workouts to help them stay fit while staying inside. In the third quarter of Peloton’s fiscal year, which ended March 31st, bike sales rose 61% and Peloton hit 1 million active subscribers. These numbers led Peloton to revise their end of year projections upward and also led to a huge increase in stock prices.
Unfortunately, not all Peloton employees were excited about Peloton’s continued growth during this unprecedented time. Last week, Buzz Feed News authorAccording to Buzz Feed, Peloton’s delivery employees did not feel that Peloton was not doing enough, early enough, to keep them healthy.
Peloton’s initial plan to keep delivery workers safe involved increasing janitorial services at warehouses and providing gloves and sanitizer wipes for delivery drivers. Many workers did not think that these efforts were satisfactory and that the company was putting profits above the safety of their employees.
According to the BuzzFeed article, Peloton employees shared the following sentiments on an internal message board:
“I’m actually livid right now … Peloton really doesn’t care about our safety or health.”
“Are we taking the steps and asking these clients if they have travelled out [of] the country within this time? If they have any signs of these symptoms beforehand?”
“There should be some kind of pre-screening [of] members … to also not only protect customers but the Peloton Field Ops Team as well.”
“Just learning more about the coronavirus, it said that symptoms can show 2 to 14 days after contact … Due to that statement alone, I feel us field specialist[s] should be restricted until further notice from delivering our products.”
Peloton did take some steps to prevent the spread of the illness as early as March 6th, when they implemented new cleaning procedures and stopped allowing members to take selfies with instructors. Just 10 days later, they shut down studios in both New York and London to the public and intended to film classes in-studio with only instructors and a limited production crew. All customer service and main office employees transitioned to remote work, but all bike and tread deliveries were to continue as planned.
By March 18th, though, Peloton changed its tune. The company suspended sales and deliveries of their treadmills and changed the delivery procedures for bikes so that workers simply dropped bikes off immediately inside a customer’s front door. Tread sales have just recently resumed in limited markets.
Peloton also received feedback that they weren’t going far enough to protect staff when they announced that a member of the production crew had tested positive for COVID-19 and the studio would be closed down for three days. This closure was eventually extended through late May, though some instructors filmed classes from their homes.
Overall, the BuzzFeed article chalks Peloton’s sometimes slow response to the pandemic to their relatively young age as a company and to the astronomical growth they’ve had in the past few years. At the end of the day, it is the community makes Peloton so popular, and it is nice to see that John Foley and other leaders can take feedback and make changes to best service their staff and customers.