Martha Stewart, the 81-year-old media mogul, recently expressed her views on remote work.
Back to the Office
In an interview with Footwear News on June 5, she criticized businesses for allowing their employees to work remotely. Despite the challenges posed in 2020, Stewart maintained an unyielding work schedule, dedicating herself to work five days a week.
Stewart firmly opposes remote work as companies gradually implement return-to-office policies, even considering hybrid work options. According to her, a mere three days in the office combined with two days remote is insufficient to accomplish all necessary tasks. Stewart emphasized her position, stating that productivity cannot be maximized within such a limited work structure.
In addition, she highlighted the practices of French companies, where a significant number of employees enjoy extended summer holidays in July or August. In France, some workers even receive 30 days of paid vacation annually. These observations shed light on Stewart's perspective and provide context to her opinions on remote work.
“Look at the success of France with their stupid…you know, off for August, blah blah blah,” she pointed out. “That’s not a very thriving country. Should America go down the drain because people don’t want to go back to work?”
Can't Go Back Now
As government restrictions gradually ease, many companies are now calling for their employees to return to the office either on a full-time or part-time basis. JPMorgan Chase announced the discontinuation of their hybrid work policy for senior staff, while Amazon stated that corporate employees would be required to spend at least three days per week in the office starting in May.
In a recent controversial statement, a professor drew criticism from Gen Z and Millennials by asserting that young people should never be at home if they aspire to succeed professionally. This remark ignited a backlash from those who argue for the importance of work-life balance and the benefits of remote or flexible work arrangements.
The New Normal
The workplace landscape has undergone significant transformations since 2020, with a shift towards remote work options and hybrid schedules. Some companies have embraced remote work entirely, allowing employees to work from anywhere. Others have adopted hybrid models, combining work-from-home days with in-office days.
Martha Stewart, in a 2021 interview with Harper's Bazaar, discussed her experiences during2020. She disclosed that she had 30 employees working on-site at her farm in Bedford, New York. Stewart expressed her belief that employers should have the ability to contact their employees at any time, even on weekends, emphasizing her enthusiasm for business and the importance of a dedicated work ethic.
During the interview, Stewart recounted an incident where she called a new employee on a Sunday, only to be told that he couldn't talk because he was taking a bath. She admitted that she couldn't work with someone who found her call inappropriate on a Sunday, suggesting that the individual's lack of religious devotion was a contributing factor.
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