The shift to remote work seems to have become more permanent than some people — and companies — originally expected.
This change has brought strong debate from both sides of the aisle. Some argue productivity levels haven’t dwindled during the work-from-home era, while others think it is the end of human interaction as we know it.
Gladwell is a five-time New York Times best-selling author, known for his nonfiction work in psychology and sociology with popular titles like “Blink” and “Outliers.” He’s sold an estimated 4.5 million books worldwide.
“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. “It’s not in your 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?”
Gladwell insisted that people must feel as if they’re “a part of something important” in order to derive meaning from their jobs, other than just working and receiving a paycheck.
Though Gladwell’s take may have supporters, the majority of Americans would probably be inclined to disagree.
A new study this summer from McKinsey showed that 58% of Americans have the opportunity to work from home at least one day a week while a staggering 87% of respondents said that if given the opportunity to work remotely, they’d take it.
Still, some companies are less apt to adapt to the times.
Elon Musk was under fire earlier this summer when a leaked memo showed that he demanded Tesla executives come back into the office full time or else they would be asked to “depart” the company. Goldman Sachs also made headlines when it was revealed that the company was asking all employees to return to the office full-time, five days a week.
As for Gladwell, in 2018, he told “The Tim Ferriss Show” he starts the first few hours of his work day in a coffee shop or a restaurant.