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Malcolm Gladwell slams employees who work from home saying the concept is ‘hurting society’

Canadian author Malcolm Gladwell has made clear his thoughts on working from home, outlining his belief that the trend is ‘hurting society’ and that any future recession will likely force employees back into the office.

Gladwell, who has written six bestsellers and is the host of the podcast Revisionist History, which has millions of subscribers, made the comments during an interview with The Diary Of A CEO podcast.

‘It’s very hard to feel necessary when you’re physically disconnected,’ Gladwell said during the emotional, 90 minute long chat.

‘As we face the battle that all organizations are facing now in getting people back into the office, it’s really hard to explain this core psychological truth, which is we want you to have a feeling of belonging and to feel necessary.

‘And we want you to join our team. And if you’re not here it’s really hard to do that,’ Gladwell explained. 

But Gladwell is one to talk after being frank for years about his own long-running avoidance of the New Yorker office – where he is a staff writer – instead opting to work from his swanky West Village home or neighborhood coffeeshops even before the pandemic ravaged New York City’s commercial office market. 

The bestselling author revealed in in a 2008 interview with New York Magazine that he refused to trek even a few miles to the New Yorker’s upscale office, then based in Midtown – citing his  ‘aversion’ to the neighborhood.

Indeed, the article also chronicled the lengths the New Yorker went to accommodate their all-star writer – going so far as to send couriers to his home to pick up fact-checking materials. 

Gladwell says that a recession will likely drive employees who are ‘sitting in their pajamas’ back into the office

Gladwell, who has written six bestsellers and is the host of the podcast Revisionist History which has millions of subscribers, made the comments during an interview with The Diary Of A CEO podcast, hosted by Steven Bartlett, right

Gladwell, who has written six bestsellers and is the host of the podcast Revisionist History which has millions of subscribers, made the comments during an interview with The Diary Of A CEO podcast, hosted by Steven Bartlett, right

In San Francisco only two-thirds of the city's' workforce has returned to their desks. New York's office occupancy remains even lower with an estimated 36% having returned

In San Francisco only two-thirds of the city’s’ workforce has returned to their desks. New York’s office occupancy remains even lower with an estimated 36% having returned

But when it comes to the rest of the population, Gladwell offered a different approach.

The author or Blink and The Tipping Point said he believed that workers need to return to the office in order to regain a ‘sense of belonging’ and feel part of something larger than themselves.

‘It’s not in your best interest to work at home,’ he concludes. ‘I know it’s a hassle to come into the office, but if you’re just sitting in your pajamas in your bedroom, is that the work life you want to live?’   

Gladwell says that a recession will likely drive employees who are ‘sitting in their pajamas’ back into the office.

‘Don’t you want to feel part of something?’ he asked. ‘I’m really getting very frustrated with the inability of people in positions of leadership to explain this effectively to their employees.

Gladwell is happy to encourage others to return to the office but he hasn’t work from one himself in decades declaring his ‘aversion to Midtown’

'It's not in your best interest to work at home. I know it's a hassle to come into the office, but if you're just sitting in your pajamas in your bedroom, is that the work life you want to live?' Gladwell asks

‘It’s not in your best interest to work at home. I know it’s a hassle to come into the office, but if you’re just sitting in your pajamas in your bedroom, is that the work life you want to live?’ Gladwell asks

‘If we don’t feel like we’re part of something important, what’s the point? If it’s just a paycheck, then it’s like what have you reduced your life to?’

Gladwell’s remarks will likely be well received by the mayors of the nation’s biggest cities who are struggling to drive workers back to the office. 

New York Mayor Eric Adams and San Francisco Mayor London Breed have urged workers in sectors of tech and finance to return to the office with their presence helping other small businesses that in turn rely on office foot traffic. 

In San Francisco only two-thirds of the city’s’ workforce has returned to their desks. New York’s office occupancy remains even lower with an estimated 36% having returned.

City officials say that the continuation of remote work led to a shortfall in $400 million in tax revenues in 2021. 

New York Mayor Eric Adams

San Francisco Mayor London Breed

New York Mayor Eric Adams and San Francisco Mayor London Breed have urged workers in sectors of tech and finance to return to the office

Aerial view of a large empty parking lot outside Capital One office building in Melville, New York earlier this year. Delis, coffee shops, restaurants struggle as office employees continue to work from home since the pandemic began (file photo)

Aerial view of a large empty parking lot outside Capital One office building in Melville, New York earlier this year. Delis, coffee shops, restaurants struggle as office employees continue to work from home since the pandemic began (file photo)

Fast food chain, Shake Shack, revealed that it had missed its sales forecasts because office workers have been returning to their office cubicles far slower than predicted.

Security company, Kastle Systems, calculated office occupancy in 10 major US metro areas is averaging 44% in the week ending July 27, according to Bloomberg News.

San Francisco City officials said that remote work cost it $400 million in tax revenues last year.

But financial and technology companies are in a difficult position fearing mass resignations should they force workers back into the office. 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk