Exclusive: Lord Sugar and Boris Johnson are ‘delusional’ when it comes to working from home
Boris Johnson admits he’s distracted by making coffee and eating cheese when he works from home and Lord Sugar has blasted PwC’s decision to give employees Friday afternoons off as “lazy”, but are they out of touch? One industry leader certainly thinks so.
TalentDesk.io founder Xenios Thrasyvoulou believes these opinions are outdated and that remote working makes teams happier, more productive and more diverse.
Thrasyvoulou told City A.M. this morning: “PwC’s summer hours are no surprise and other companies should follow suit. Things have changed.
He added: “The Great Resignation is happening and if companies don’t adapt to the new way of working in some shape or form they’ll have trouble retaining their best talent,”
“Weigh it up: what’s the cost of replacing top talent vs the cost of giving them three hours off a week for three months?”Xenios Thrasyvoulou
Thrasyvoulou, who founded PeoplePerHour and now provides businesses with technology to engage, manage and pay contractors through TalentDesk.io., believes that working from home is not a fad – and that the pandemic only accelerated the shift towards a better work-life balance with more opportunities for those previously excluded from full-time jobs.
“Flexibility and remote working are the norm now for successful companies. Boris Johnson’s comments are delusional.”
He stressed that working from home has worked for more than two years and it will continue to work.
“A business that can’t see that might as well confine themselves to the average talent that will be willing to work five days a week from an office, because those who have no trouble finding work will definitely not go for that set-up.”
The pandemic has made people reassess what they want out of life – and their work, Thrasyvoulou stressed. And after the stress of the last two years, he feels that business leaders need to offer employees more support, rather than forcing them back into the office.
“People are burnt out; that’s the reality, and business leaders need to change that. You can argue that you get distracted by dust balls in your house on a Friday, but in reality commuting for hours each day at a massive cost and balancing life admin at the same time will leave a lot less time available in your day to focus on doing actual work,” he said.
“Give people the time to do amazing work, and they will. They know they have a choice – and they want to work for companies offering meaningful work and flexible conditions,” Thrasyvoulou said.
“Real work-life balance comes from the flexibility to work remotely, with your employer trusting you to get everything done.”Xenios Thrasyvoulou
Although cost-saving and flexibility are often touted as benefits of having a remote workforce, that doesn’t even scratch the surface, according to Thrasyvoulou.
He believes all jobs should be “location agnostic” to promote diversity and equal opportunity and that managers should allow people to work when they want as long as they tick off their to-do list.
“Great companies are made of great people – and as every good leader knows, great minds don’t think alike. By bringing in people from different places, with different beliefs and perspectives, companies will benefit,” Thrasyvou said.
As remote working becomes the established norm, it will make teams more diverse, Thrasyvoulou continued.
“If employers remove the location and make it clear that remote working is the norm for them, they’ll open up jobs to larger pools of talent, build truly diverse company cultures and offer different perspectives which make teams even better.”
“If you think about working mothers or people at retirement age, that’s a fantastic pool of talent that might have been neglected because they’re not able to be in an office from 9am to 6pm. They’re productive, experienced and valuable to the workforce,” Thrasyvoulou concluded.