Malcolm Gladwell denounces employees who work from home, saying the concept is “harming society”

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Canadian author Malcolm Gladwell has made his thoughts on working from home clear, emphasizing his belief that the trend is “damaging society” and that any future downturn will likely force employees back into the office.

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

“It’s very hard to feel needed when you’re physically disconnected,” Gladwell said during the 90 Minute Emotional Chat.

“As we face the battle that all organizations are currently facing to get people back into the office, it is really difficult to explain this fundamental psychological truth, which is that we want you to have a sense of belonging and that you feel necessary.

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

But Gladwell is one to speak after being candid for years about his own longtime avoidance of the New Yorker’s office – where he is a staff writer – choosing instead to work from his posh West Village home or his neighborhood coffeeshops before even as the pandemic ravages New York City’s commercial office market.

The best-selling author revealed in a 2008 interview with New York Magazine that he refused to travel even a few miles to the New Yorker’s upscale office, then based in Midtown, citing his “dislike” for the neighborhood. .

Gladwell says a recession will likely bring employees who are ‘sitting in their pajamas’ back to the office

Gladwell is happy to encourage others to return to the office, but has often spoken in the past of his love for working in cafes and at home.

Gladwell is happy to encourage others to return to the office, but has often spoken in the past of his love for working in cafes and at home.

In September 2020, Gladwell tweeted how he had set up an office to enable him to work from home

In September 2020, Gladwell tweeted how he had set up an office to enable him to work from home

Indeed, the article also chronicled the New Yorker’s efforts to accommodate its star writer – going so far as to send couriers to his home to retrieve fact-checking documents.

Years earlier, in 2005, Gladwell had given an interview at length to The Guardian in which he claimed he “hated offices”.

“I hate offices. Offices are now banned. I work best when I’m comfortable,” Gladwell said.

‘I call my writing ‘rotating’. I always say ‘I’m going to rotate’ because I have a series of points that I’m rotating.’

At the time, Gladwell shared how he had a number of cafes and restaurants he switched between.

The sheer hypocrisy of Gladwell voicing his opinion on the lack of enthusiasm to return to an office when he barely frequents one himself has not escaped the notice of <a class=social media users.” class=”blkBorder img-share” style=”max-width:100%” />

The sheer hypocrisy of Gladwell voicing his opinion on the lack of enthusiasm to return to an office when he barely frequents one himself has not escaped the notice of social media users.

‘The servers are all Australian and they play The Smiths all day, which I think is so fabulous. I always go there on weekends. Then there are restaurants in Little Italy where I go. I often go to these places mid-afternoon when I am left to linger.

“They have these huge windows and they open them so people on the street are walking right by you. You feel the traffic; you feel in the middle of things and paradoxically I find it very soothing, ”he added.

Although he wrote a book called Tipping Point, one Twitter user noted how the author would sit in a West Village cafe where he worked and never tip.

“Malcolm Gladwell was a regular at the cafe where I worked and he never tipped,” wrote Devin McGee.

In 2010, writing in the Wall Street Journal, Gladwell also opened up about her love of coffeehouse work, while simultaneously hating those who did the same.

“The problem with writing in coffee shops is that everyone hates the kind of people who write in coffee shops, especially the kind of people who write in coffee shops. You see the guy in the corner bent over laptop and you say to yourself (forgetting, for the moment, that you’re also hunched over a laptop): “For fun, get a desk.” As someone who writes in cafes for a living, I have struggled with this paradox for much of my adult life.

Gladwell went on to list her favorite places to work while suggesting others haven’t followed her lead.

“If I’m working there, the last thing I want is to see you bent over your computer pathetically.”

The sheer hypocrisy of Gladwell voicing his opinion on the lack of enthusiasm to return to an office when he barely frequents one himself has not escaped the notice of social media users.

“My God, I can’t stand those damn hypocrites. Gladwell was, well, an outlier of remote work — I guess that’s only acceptable for best-selling authors, but not for the rest of us plebs,’ wrote Julie S.

“He was probably another Malcolm Gladwell (twin brother?) who wrote enthusiastically and often about coffeehouse work,” wrote Martin Robbins.

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

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

In San Francisco, only two-thirds of the city's workforce have returned to their desks.  Office occupancy in New York remains even lower, with around 36% return

In San Francisco, only two-thirds of the city’s workforce have returned to their desks. Office occupancy in New York remains even lower, with around 36% return

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

The author of Blink and The Tipping Point said he believes workers need to return to the office to regain a “sense of belonging” and feel part of something bigger than themselves.

“It’s not in your interest to work from home,” he concludes. “I know it’s hard to get into the office, but if you’re just sitting in your bedroom in your pajamas, is that the professional life you want to live?”

Gladwell says a recession will likely bring employees “sitting in pajamas” back to the office.

‘Don’t you want to feel like you’re part of something?’ He asked. “I’m really, really frustrated with the inability of people in leadership positions to effectively explain this to their employees.

“It's not in your interest to work from home.  I know it's hard to get into the office, but if you're just sitting in your bedroom in your pajamas, is this the professional life you want to live?  Gladwell asks

“It’s not in your interest to work from home. I know it’s hard to get into the office, but if you’re just sitting in your bedroom in your pajamas, is this the professional life you want to live? Gladwell asks

“If we don’t feel like we’re part of something big, 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 welcomed by mayors of the nation’s biggest cities who are struggling to get workers back into office.

New York Mayor Eric Adams and San Francisco Mayor London Breed have urged workers in the tech and finance sectors to return to the office with their presence to help other small businesses who, in their tower, depend on foot traffic from the offices.

In San Francisco, only two-thirds of the city’s workforce have returned to their desks. Office occupancy in New York remains even lower with around 36% return.

City officials say continued remote work resulted in a $400 million shortfall in tax revenue in 2021.

New York Mayor Eric Adams

Mayor of San Francisco Race of London

New York City Mayor Eric Adams and San Francisco Mayor London Breed have urged workers in technology and finance to return to office.

Aerial view of a large empty parking lot outside the Capital One office building in Melville, New York earlier this year.  Delicatessens, cafes and restaurants have struggled as office workers continue to work from home since the start of the pandemic (file photo)

Aerial view of a large empty parking lot outside the Capital One office building in Melville, New York earlier this year. Delicatessens, cafes and restaurants have struggled as office workers continue to work from home since the start of the pandemic (file photo)

Fast food chain Shake Shack has revealed it missed its sales forecast because office workers were returning to their office cubicles much slower than expected.

Security firm Kastle Systems calculated that office occupancy in 10 major U.S. metropolitan areas averaged 44% in the week ending July 27, according to Bloomberg News.

San Francisco city officials said remote work cost it $400 million in tax revenue last year.

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

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