Malcolm Gladwell, New York Times bestselling author, outed himself as a hypocrite when he told Steven Bartlett, host of “Diary of a CEO” podcast, that “working from home isn’t in your best interest.”
Apparently, for Gladwell, a worker can’t feel connected to the job when they aren’t in the office, so, “what’s the point? “If it’s just a paycheck, then it’s like what have you reduced your life to?”
Gladwell isn’t just out of touch with the work from home movement, he may also be detached from the “why I work” movement. Interestingly enough, Gladwell, who is a staff writer for The New Yorker, is known for working in coffee shops and possibly from home, as he is rarely seen working in the offices of The New Yorker.
Does working from home work?
Even before the pandemic, working from home was becoming more common. A 2013 paper published by Stanford Business demonstrated a 13% increase in the performance of call center workers who worked from home. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics supports that workers are more productive when working from home, based on output per hours worked.
Unfortunately, there’s still a mentality that workers will shirk when not watched every minute of the day, but interest in remote work is growing. There’s no commute. You don’t have to deal with toxic co-workers or managers (in person).
Remote work is a huge success.
According to SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, about 60% of workers who can work from home still are working from home. That might be a small decline from the number of workers who worked from home at the height of the pandemic, but working from home is popular with employees.
It can work when the culture of the business makes it work.
Granted, it’s not for everyone, and not every job can be done from home. But when employees can find more satisfaction in their job without all the time commitment, what does that hurt?
Why shouldn’t workers work for a paycheck?
There’s a shift in the workforce in which it’s becoming okay to work for a paycheck. Employees don’t owe their lives to a job. More people are looking at work as an economic transaction, rather than a “career path.”
There’s more to life than your job.
While older generations believe that good people work for success and to make a difference, bottom line, if those employees didn’t get paid, they wouldn’t be there.
The days of working out of altruism are over. Employers may need to shift their thinking to find the talent that keeps their business moving forward. The older generations should consider how to change with the times. Millennials aren’t lazy, but they do have different priorities.
Working from home isn’t destroying the workforce… it’s giving employees time to focus on what matters to them. If employees can work from home and are productive, what’s the problem with allowing them the freedom to do so?