Alan Sugar Takes On ‘Lazy Assholes’ But It’s What Makes You Happy That Matters
If Alan Sugar likes to rant about hybrid working, he’ll love reading about the latest findings on workplace happiness…
It’s always helpful when a cutting-edge entrepreneur steps out of the thick foliage of business talk and reveals what they really think, without any PR filters to confuse.
So, in the glaring and direct spotlight, Lord Alan Sugar is no stranger to commentary to the face.
Few in the HR industry would have expected The Apprentice star to be particularly enthusiastic about hybrid working arrangements, increased flexibility in when and where people work or, indeed, HR itself.
But his comments on PricewaterhouseCoopers’ plan for Friday afternoons in June, July and August didn’t cast doubt on hybrid working so much as a steamroller on the whole notion. Then come back to it for good measure.
He said, on Twitter – the perfect medium for thoughtless rants, the vacuity of which is disguised by the number of characters – “It’s a bloody joke. Lazy assholes make me sick. Call me old fashioned, but all this work from home BS is a complete joke. It is impossible for people to work as hard or productive as when they had to show up at a place of work. The pandemic has had lasting negative effects.
It’s hard to know who the “lazy assholes” are in this case – does he mean employees or senior management? Perhaps the whole professional services sector?
Never mind. We get it: Sugar doesn’t like people working from home. Fine. And, yes, the pandemic has indeed had lasting negative effects – although those of us still alive should probably focus on the positives.
What may sound even more like a “bloody joke” to Sugar is a study called Happiness Tracker. His research, conducted in the United States, Asia and Europe, found that the ability to work remotely is strongly linked to happiness at work. The ability to work remotely increases employee happiness by up to 20%, he said. And happiness means better productivity.
It suggests that our work – take a deep breath – is not entirely disconnected from our lives and says “Many employees appreciated the benefits of being able to work from home, such as no commuting, lunch breaks with partners and be accompanied by their pets.” Sugar was probably not among the respondents.
Sugar is not the only one of course. Others who share his view are Jacob Rees-Mogg, who left charming “I missed you” notes on people’s desks, and former KPMG boss Bill Michael, who resigned after he told employees to ‘stop moaning’ during lockdown and denied the notion of unconscious bias.
We found a strong negative correlation between commute times and employee happiness” – Hugo Huijer, founder of Tracking Happiness
Other findings of the happiness study, as reported in Forbes, included that millennials are happiest when working remotely, returning to office work post-pandemic reduces employee happiness and employee happiness. employees decreases as travel times increase. (That would apply to daily bus and train rides, not Sugar’s preferred mode of transportation: chauffeured limos and private planes.)
For those perceived to be the most motivated, long commutes after getting up at 3:30 a.m. are often presented as a commitment to the cause and life at work, something to dissociate from any ridiculous notion of “well-being”. or, God forbid, “happiness.”
But this survey has the audacity to suggest that happiness at work is “significantly correlated with life happiness in general.”
Tracking Happiness founder Hugo Huijer commented on the results: “Our study shows that employees who are given the option to work from home are happier than those who are not. In addition to this finding, we found a strong negative correlation between commute times and employee happiness. »
Huijer added, “In that sense, companies can improve employee happiness simply by allowing them to work from home more. Not only does this benefit your company’s environmental footprint, but it also helps improve employee morale. »
Ultimately, he argues that working from home is better for employee happiness, productivity, and sustainability: “Having your employees work from an office might make short-term sense. But if it leads to employee dissatisfaction, it can lead to a decline in sustainability and performance that can be far more serious than an empty office building.
But the important thing is that Lord Sugar feels happy and we can’t help but think that his Tweet has helped him achieve a deeply therapeutic state of happiness.
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