Is Boris Johnson right to say “working from home doesn’t work?”

MT Asks: With major public figures, including our very own Prime Minister, casting doubt over the validity of working from home, MT asks business leaders to share their thoughts about the hybrid model.

by Éilis Cronin

In an exclusive interview with The Daily Mail earlier this month, Boris Johnson boldly stated that “working from home doesn't work”. Drawing on his own experiences of spending an “awful lot of time making another cup of tea”, eating small pieces of cheese and then “forgetting what it was you’re doing”, the Prime Minister believes staff are “more productive, more energetic, more full of ideas” when in an office environment.

Other notable figures have come out in support of getting people back into the office. TV presenter and journalist Richard Madeley recently accused civil servants of “skiving” during Good Morning Britain last week, as many of them are still working from home despite Covid restrictions being lifted. Tory Cabinet Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg is “suspicious” of workers who choose to work from home on Fridays - although he has recently come under fire for taking a four-day week himself after a leaked email stated that he “does not take a ministerial box on a Friday”.

But as we have explored in detail, working from home or a hybrid working approach is seemingly the way forward. Research commissioned by computing company Citrix has found that a hybrid model is preferred by 61% of UK employees. The survey of 6,500 workers from 10 countries found that less than one-fifth have returned to working from the office full time and nearly a third would leave their current position if hybrid working wasn’t an option. It’s even considered more important than salary for 28% of respondents. 

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