Famed Author Thinks WFH Is Negatively Impacting Society
GLOBAL – Author Malcolm Gladwell, the bestselling author of “Blink” and “The Tipping Point”, believes that working from home is badly affecting society and an economic recession will likely compel staff to return to the office, reported The New York Post on Friday (5 August, SGT).
In the “Diary of a CEO” podcast hosted by Steven Bartlett, the Canadian writer said that employees need to return to their workplace to regain a “sense of belonging” – to feel part of something bigger than themselves.
“It’s very hard to feel necessary when you’re physically disconnected,” Gladwell said.
“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.”
He said staff may want to join their colleagues, but if they’re not in the office, it’s really hard to do that.
Gladwell said it’s not in the employees’ 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? 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?”
Moreover, Gladwell said that he’s getting frustrated with the inability of company leaders to explain the aforementioned to their staff.
According to the latest data from security firm Kastle Systems, office occupancy rates across ten major US metro areas average 44 percent in the week ended 27 July 2022.
San Francisco saw the highest office vacancy level, followed by New York. Earlier this year, data from Kastle Systems showed that New York’s office occupancy level was merely 36 percent.
However, financial institutions and tech firms are hesitant to compel their workers to return to the office, due to fears that their employees would quit and work for companies that offer more flexibility.