The clamour to push remote working as some sort of post Covid future is sending business leaders into a tizzy.
With the ‘work from home if you can’ ruling due to be potentially binned along with other Covid restrictions from 19 July, there’s a lot of work still to be done to reverse a damaging culture so we can get people back to their office desks.
However, for me there’s simply no debate here. Remote working is bad for everybody and I’m not sure what it is about it that people aren’t getting. Companies are being pushed around by their employees far too much if you ask me.
The fact that some businesses had a massive change of heart after getting caught up in the initial excitement last year is a good thing.
Although, having got a bit over-excited by first saying that people can stay at home indefinitely, is leaving some facing a kickback from staff over the U-turn. Workers are confused and disappointed and that is perhaps understandable.
When I read that Google has had to water down its ‘back to the office’ plans after complaints from workers, I have to wonder who’s running the show there. Likewise, Apple is facing a backlash over its reduced remote working plans.
But I’m not the only one thinking that this reimagining of the post-pandemic workplace is bad news. James Gorman, the chief executive of Morgan Stanley, has told his staff they want them back in its offices.
As James says, “That’s where we teach, that’s where our interns learn, that’s how we develop people. If you want to get paid New York rates, you work in New York. None of this, ‘I’m in Colorado . . . and getting paid like I’m sitting in New York City.’ Sorry, that doesn’t work.”
The only person to benefit from being able to allegedly work from home is the individual, but you can’t allow staff to run your business.
However, this perk for the individual is likely to be short lived, for when bosses wise up to the idea that they can close the office and farm the jobs out to workers in foreign climes, where people appreciate the work and do it for less, they’ll be out on their ear.
The point is, if they don’t like the work, or where the office is, they can find another job or go self-employed and then do as they please.
But don’t expect me to pay for you to do the house work, or organise your social life, while fitfully focussing on the job you are contractually obliged to do for me, in the office.
Pimlico is successful because our departments talk to each other and collaborate, which helps morale and retention stay very high.
It is supported by our strong company incentives culture, which includes a free gym and exercise classes, a subsidised canteen, a company masseuse and parties at Christmas and in the summer.
Let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want a few days at home lounging around in their pyjamas at someone else’s expense? Remote working just ain’t working though.
It is more likely that no office means no training, no camaraderie, no collaboration and no future for businesses and ultimately no job for you.