Is remote work stymieing business innovation?

Working from home jeopardises vital in-person collaboration and creates conflict between employers and employees, said entrepreneur James Dyson.
By: | December 15, 2022

The UK’s plan to grant employees the right to work from home will jeopardise vital in-person collaboration required for businesses to innovate and succeed, said James Dyson, Founder of multinational appliance firm Dyson.

In an op-ed for The Times, Dyson wrote, “We have seen from our own experience at Dyson during periods of government-enforced working from home how deeply inefficient it is. It prevents the collaboration and in-person training that we need to develop new technology and maintain competitiveness against global rivals.”

Under new legislation by the UK government, employees will be given the right to ask for flexible working from their first day at a new job. They will no longer have to wait for 26 weeks to seek flexible arrangements, as set out under the current law.

If an employer cannot accommodate a request to work flexibly, it would have to discuss “alternative options” before rejecting it, said UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

READ: UK rolls out new initiative for flexible work

The UK government’s definition of flexible working spans working arrangements like working from home, job-sharing, flexitime or staggered hours.

Dyson is not the first business leader to push back against flexible working arrangements. In August, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon voiced out against such arrangements, saying that it “slows down honesty and decision making”.