• Malcolm Gladwell said on a podcast that it's not in people's "best interest" to work from home.
  • The author said he's "frustrated with the inability" of leaders to explain that to employees.
  • Gladwell has said he starts his days with a laptop on the sofa and "writes in coffee shops for a living."

During an appearance on the "Diary of a CEO" podcast, Canadian writer Malcolm Gladwell said working at home is not in people's "best interest."

"If you're just sitting in your pajamas in your bedroom, is that the work life you wanna live?" Gladwell said on the podcast. "We want you to have a feeling of belonging, and to feel necessary. And if you're not here, it's really hard to do that."

Gladwell said he's "frustrated'"with business leaders who are unable "to explain this effectively to their employees."

To Gladwell, coming back into the office is about a "sense of belonging" that is lost when employees are not physically together.

"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," Gladwell said.

But Gladwell himself has worked outside of the office for years — a fact that many on social media were quick to comment on.

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed from 2020, Gladwell called himself "someone who writes in coffee shops for a living," while saying "everyone hates the kind of people who write in coffee shops."

Back in in 2005, Gladwell told The Guardian about his work space and said, "I hate desks. Desks are now banished." Instead, he said he starts his day with his laptop on his sofa. He said he "rotates" around different places in New York City for work.

His office at The New Yorker was not one of those places, as noted in a 2008 profile of Gladwell in New York Magazine that said his editors "don't see him in the office very often — owing to his self-professed 'aversion to midtown.'"

The profile went on to mention that Gladwell was accommodated "with couriers to pick up his fact-checking materials," so he wouldn't have to go into the office.

Despite Gladwell's present thoughts on work from home, it seems many workers share his past sentiments about not wanting to return to the office, with some arguing online that they value the added connection to their family over the connections at the office.

While some companies like Amazon and Google are trying to bring workers back into the office, they're being met with resistance from workers who prefer remote work. And amidst a tight labor market, employers don't want to risk losing employees to The Great Resignation for requiring them to return to the office if they don't want to. 

Read the original article on Business Insider