One thing that’s happened in the past couple of years is the flipping of something that was once considered almost universally a horrible idea—for instance, working from home instead of being in an office. The pandemic provided freedom for workers that many did not want to give up, preferring to stay in their pajamas or workout clothes on Zoom calls for eight hours.
Employ Inc. provided data in April that showed 65% of workers said work-from-home or remote work options impacted their decision to take a job. Roughly 40% of people polled said they would accept a smaller salary if it meant they didn’t have to go to the office.
Business owners, C-suite executives, and managers are realizing this is a trend that is not great for the bottom line, and renowned author Malcolm Gladwell told the “Diary of a CEO” podcast that workers should are better off long-term being in an office during the workday.
“It’s very hard to feel necessary when you’re physically disconnected. 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.”
Commutes to work are things nobody relishes, but the benefits of being connected inside an office outweigh what would happen long-term if the work from home fad continued.
“[I]f you’re just sitting in your pajamas in your bedroom, is that the work life you want to live? Don’t you want to feel part of something? 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 blames people in leadership positions for failing to communicate correctly the need for employees to work from the office. Numerous CEOs have offered remote work options for life if an employee so chooses.