Kirstie Allsopp sparks fierce debate by suggesting workers should 'prove their worth' to employers
Ben A. Pruchnie / Getty Images

TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp sparked anger by suggesting that people working from home should "get back to work" to prove their "worth" to their employer.

The Location, Location, Location host raised concerns about coming redundancies as a result of the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

She was also accused of "suggesting that people can be easily replaced with cheaper employees overseas" because of her comment that "if your job can be done from home it can be done from abroad".

People also questioned her reasoning that employers would be impressed by their staff returning to work in person.

Allsopp then sought to clarify her comments, insisting that her comments were prompted by concern for homeworkers, and was not an "attack" on them.

Beneath her original tweet, she replied to some of her critics, again pointing to her fears about post-lockdown job losses.

The figure she quotes, that there was a 66 per cent drop in people going out to work as a result of lockdown, may have come from research undertaken by working from home messaging service Slack that states:

66 per cent of remote workers are doing so because of Covid-19 concerns.

But this research, carried out in late March in the US, states that 66 per cent of the 45 per cent of people surveyed who were working from home were doing so because of the pandemic.

The other 33 per cent in that group "normally" work from home anyway.

Slack's 45 per cent figure is roughly in line with Office for National Statistics data that suggests 46.6 per cent of people in employment in the UK did some work from home in April. That figure later climbed to 49 per cent.

It is also possible Allsopp was referring to the fact that homeworking rates rose to 70 per cent among professional occupations and 67 per cent among managers and directors.

Indy100 has contacted Kirstie Allsopp to query where her figure came from, and we'll update you if we receive a reply.

In her response to the backlash her comments received, Allsopp also pointed out that her concerns are about "employers' behaviour not employees".

She also acknowledged that working from home can be a positive or a negative, depending on your situation.

Other updates have included decrying the attention her tweet received in comparison to another tweet about the explosions in Beirut, and pointing out that she is not an expert on the economy.

You can find analysis from experts about whether working from home has an adverse effect on the economy here.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)