UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak confused Brits after claiming that many employees would quit their jobs if their employers kept them working from home.
“You can’t beat the spontaneity, the team-building, the culture that you create in a firm or an organisation from people actually spending physical time together,” Sunak declared in an interview with the Daily Telegraph.
The chancellor then warned that companies which decide to completely replace office work with working from home after coronavirus restrictions have been lifted might prompt staff to “vote with their feet” and join competitors that allow them to work in an office.
Brits on social media condemned and ridiculed Sunak’s bizarre warning, pointing out that many workers would be more likely to quit if they had to go back into an office five days a week after a year of working from home.
People are MORE likely to quit if they are forced back into the office when working from home or a mixture of both is easily possible. Unless I'm having a common sense meltdown!?
— Keith Colclough 🌈 🏳️🌈 (@KeithCol500) March 26, 2021
lol, aint nobody quitting because they are NOT allowed back in office. https://t.co/SozlFN3yho
— Draft Punkh (@antifatwa) March 26, 2021
Staff are actually quite happy with working from home at least some of the time Rishi you disingenuous ghoul https://t.co/gBzNAITJCM
— marcus (@marcusjdl) March 26, 2021
“Who loves working in an office? Long commutes, money spent on travelling, noisy office spaces,”responded one woman. “Let the people who (strangely) enjoy working in offices return! Leave the people who are more productive working outside an office stay away.”
“Embrace technology,”declared another user, who argued that “there’s no need to commute hours a day to sit at a desk” when it could be done from home, while a recruitment worker claimed that working from home had always been a huge selling point for candidates browsing jobs.
Am I right, has Rishi Sunak just told businesses to stop people working from home? Is he now telling people how to run their businesses? How long before the gov't bring in legislation to force this to happen?
— Fauxcanard. (@fauxcanard) March 26, 2021
Others accused Sunak – whose net worth is estimated to be in the hundreds of millions – of being out of touch with everyday Brits and suggested he was trying to protect office-space landlords.
Translation, "My mate's office rental income is plummeting." https://t.co/fiPgUbNiXe
— Andrew Prentice (@prent_) March 26, 2021
‘You’d better let those Victorian orphans lose their limbs in the factory machine or you risk them willingly starving to death.’ https://t.co/jNNAr2gCzc
— Tiernan Douieb (@TiernanDouieb) March 26, 2021
Rishi Sunak's biggest problem with working from home is deciding which of his 12 homes to work from
— David__Osland (@David__Osland) March 26, 2021
Non-essential workers were told by the government to work remotely in March 2020 as Covid-19 lockdown restrictions were implemented and many office jobs are now performed solely from home.
Last month, however, the government released its plan to lift national lockdown restrictions, with all legal restrictions to be removed no earlier than June 21, so long as there are no unforeseen circumstances preventing it.
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