Remote working - Prime Minister Boris Johnson criticises “post-COVID, work-from-home, mañana culture” but later backtracks.
LONDON, ENGLAND — Even at this stage of the pandemic, now that the world has seen some of its worst periods of COVID-19 and is collectively moving towards a “post-pandemic” phase, there is still some opposition to remote working.
This even as employees have proven themselves capable of adapting to unexpected circumstances, providing their best performances while also enjoying a new kind of work-life balance that many never anticipated.
Research has even shown that some employees are not just working better but also working more efficiently thanks to flexible working. The number of sick days taken by London workers has even drastically decreased since remote work became more widespread.
Despite its many well-documented benefits, and the fact that most workers in the UK show strong preference for at least some form of flexible work, some businesses and even high-ranking officials are keen to brush it aside in favour for a return to physical offices.
But with many experts asserting remote work is the model of the future, and with an increasing number of companies embracing a fully work-from-home operational model, forgoing physical offices entirely, leaders and innovators must continue to demonstrate that flexible work is here to stay.
Prime Minister’s comments about remote working
Even Prime Minister Boris Johnson has expressed disparaging comments about the UK’s remote workers. His remarks have landed him in hot water with civil service unions, some of whom have been steadfastly advocating for flexible working to be the default.
It was just last week that Prime Minister Johnson lambasted what he described as a “post-COVID, work-from-home, mañana culture”, seemingly suggesting a lazy approach and lax performance among remote workers.
He criticised “that we all got used to working from home, to Zoom calls, to thinking that we could do business like that”, specifically in regards to the length of time taken for public services like passports and driving licenses.
The prime minister later backtracked on his comments, clarifying that he did not “necessarily use them about any particular institution” and adding, “I think for many people it is great; I don’t want to minimise the value of this.
“I think for lots of people, particularly for women who have kids, for parents who have kids — I don’t want to be stereotypical — anybody who wants to stay at home for one reason or another, you can see the advantages of working from home.”
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