'Total joke': Lord Sugar condemns WFH setup

'There's no way people work as hard as when they had to turn up at a work location'

'Total joke': Lord Sugar condemns WFH setup

British business magnate Lord Alan Sugar expressed his displeasure over work-from-home arrangements, condemning them as a "total joke."

"This is a bloody joke. The lazy gits make me sick. Call me old fashioned but all this work from home BS is a total joke," he said in a tweet. “There is no way people work as hard or productive as when they had to turn up at a work location. The pandemic has had long lasting negative effect.”

He was reacting to an announcement from the PwC, which recently granted its 22,000 staff in the United Kingdom Friday afternoons off all summer. This is a move that reflects big companies' efforts to retain and attract workers after the pandemic drastically shifted what employees want in workplaces.

In a later statement, published on the Daily Mail Plus, Sugar said working from home is the "secondary plague" unleashed by COVID-19.

"The pandemic has unleashed a workshy, entitled culture in which people demand — and are allowed — to work from home. This trend is bad news for business, for employees — and for the sandwich shops, cafes, and taxi drivers who rely on people going into the office," he said.

"I would never have built my business empire if I had been working from home half the week because creativity thrives in company."

According to Sugar, while work from home may made sense during the beginning of the pandemic, there is "no reason for them not to go into the office" with most people vaccinated.

"This practice has gone on too long and for the sake of the economy, the country and for the good of the employees themselves, it needs to stop," he said.

"Your company — and your country — needs you!"

Read more: How to create a productive working from home culture

Productivity has been a major concern for employers following the implementation of remote work, with some even implementing harsh monitoring measures to ensure that employees remain productive while at the comfort of their own homes.

According to a study from the Becker Friedman Institute for Economics, WFH is predicted to boost productivity by five per cent and will continue to gain momentum.

But what should employers do if employees seem less productive during remote work? Loh Siew Kim, HR partner at Lenovo, previously told HRD that this would boil down to understanding, mutual trust, and respect.

"The manager will need to be able to understand each worker as an individual," she said. "Everyone has a different set of challenges that they can't control and may linger when they come into work."

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