Rishi Sunak wants everyone to go back to the office but not everyone agrees

Kate Plummer
Friday 26 March 2021 14:46
Firms are now assessing how to tackle the issue of remote versus office working once lockdown restrictions are eased(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Rishi Sunak has been mocked online after overestimating the extent to which people want to return to their offices after the coronavirus pandemic.

In an interview with the Telegraph, Sunak claimed staff may quit their jobs if they are not allowed to work from the office and said that homeworking is no substitute for an office environment with “people riffing off each other”.

But it appears not everyone has as strong relationships with their colleagues as Sunak clearly does, and writing on Twitter, various people have proceeded to rip into his plans:

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Others expressed suspicion at his motives:

The Chancellor’s comments come after Nationwide revealed plans to allow 13,000 of its staff to “work anywhere” as it closed three Swindon offices. Meanwhile, countless other businesses such as newspaper publisher Reach have revealed plans of their own to close some of their regional offices.

But in the interview, Sunak said offices should endeavor to remain open, though he acknowledged hybrid plans may work for some organisations.

He said: “You can’t beat the spontaneity, the team building, the culture that you create in a firm or an organisation from people actually spending physical time together.”

However, an SNP politician pointed out that working from home can foster more inclusive workplace environments:

While Rishi won the hearts and stomachs of the nation last year by introducing the Eat out to Help Out scheme, it seems that on this occasion his finger is not as firmly on the pulse.