A recruitment business owner has received more than 50 abusive calls after slamming people who want to work from home as ‘lazy, spoilt and entitled’.
James Cox, 35, from Putney, London, took to LinkedIn to claim that people only want to work from home because they are lazy and want to watch Loose Women and ‘feed the squirrels’.
The founder and manager of Chelsea Personnel described workers who don’t want to return to the office as ‘spoilt and entitled’ people who ‘want to doss on the sofa with your laptop in your dressing gown/PJs’.
He claimed unemployed people have gone as far as turning down job offers because they do not want to go into the office full-time, after Covid-19 has seen office workers forced to work from their living rooms and kitchen tables for more than a year.
Mr Cox has received a barrage of online abuse, including 50 ranting prank calls, from irate people who slammed his ’embarrassing’ opinions as ‘dated, old drivel’, while others flocked to praise him for having the ‘guts to say it on a public platform’.
His controversial comments come after hybrid working has become increasingly popular because of the pandemic, with demand for flexible office spaces growing.
Research revealed that almost 50 per cent of all office workers would ‘quit their job’ if they were asked to go back to their office on a permanent five-day basis.
Meanwhile, many workers returning to offices are struggling to cope with noise or problems with facilities such as video conferencing, another study suggested.
After working from home was eased over the summer, Boris Johnson revealed his ‘Plan B’ for tackling Covid over the winter and threatened to bring back wide-scale working from home rules if infections soared.
James Cox, (pictured), 35, from Putney, London, claimed that people only want to work from home because they are lazy and want to watch Loose Women and ‘feed the squirrels’
Mr Cox shared his rant after becoming ‘sick and tired’ of hearing candidates refuse to be put forward for office-based roles because they wanted to work from home.
He said that during his 15 years in his job, nobody ever said they wanted to work from home until lockdown gave people the option to stay at home and ‘save money on travel’.
Mr Cox, whose staff all worked in the office during lockdown, wrote: ‘I’m so sick and tired of hearing candidates tell me they want to ‘work from home’ I’ve even found out that there is even an abbreviation for it now! WFH!!
‘I’ve done this job for 15 years and before Covid, I had never heard anyone ever say to me that they want to work from home, the world experiences an awful pandemic and all of a sudden we’re all entitled to work from home!!
‘You want to work from home! So you don’t have to get dressed at 6am? So you can save money on travel? So that you can watch Loose Women on your lunch break?
‘I am so tired of hearing people tell me that they don’t want to go forward for a role because it does not allow them to work from home!
‘Come on everyone, let’s pull together, stop the working from home nonsense and let’s get Britain working again!
‘Working from home so that you can feed the squirrels at 11am in the garden!’
Mr Cox shared his rant (above) after becoming ‘sick and tired’ of hearing candidates refuse to be put forward for office-based roles because they wanted to work from home
The recruitment company owner (pictured) described workers who don’t want to return to the office as ‘spoilt and entitled’ people who ‘want to doss on the sofa’ in ‘dressing gown/PJs’
The business owner, who founded Chelsea Personnel in April 2019 to address a recruitment skills gap in London and Surrey, claimed he has been inundated with abusive messages.
Despite the outcry, James insisted that he stands by his belief that people want to work from home due to laziness, claiming people are going as far as turning down jobs because they have to go into the office full-time.
James said: ‘Unemployed people are turning down offers because they have to go into the office five days a week.
‘I don’t know what they’re thinking, they’re unemployed and have no income.
‘They don’t want to work in an office because their friend works from home.
‘People say it’s a better work life balance if you’ve got children or pets, they want to see their children in the morning or their sister can have their children at certain hours but deep down I’m just seeing a lazy mentality.
‘People want to work from home so they can wake up later and not have to commute.
‘We think because there’s been a pandemic that we’re entitled to not get the train. There’s a difference between wanting and expecting.’
But he said some people have also agreed with his controversial comments, praising him for saying ‘what everyone is thinking’.
He added: ‘I wrote the post because I want to get a bit more understanding and I wanted to see what sort of companies were backing working from home but I knew there was going to be backlash.
‘It’s IT and software companies who can sit in a dark room with no social interaction because it’s what they’re used to.’
Mr Cox, who founded Chelsea Personnel in April 2019 to address a recruitment skills gap in London and Surrey, claimed he has been inundated with abusive messages after his post
Mr Cox (pictured) said that during his 15 years in his job, nobody ever voiced that they wanted to work from home until the Covid-19 pandemic
Mr Cox, who employs three people at his recruitment company, said at the start of the pandemic he made the decision that they would all continue working in the office throughout lockdown.
He said people can’t make the most of work without being in the office and said cafes in central London that rely on commuters’ business will suffer due to the working from home trend.
He continued: ‘It’s becoming a trend and not because it’s something you have to do for your health, it’s because everyone else is doing it.
‘Cafes in central London rely on lunch hour so if we’re all at home they won’t survive and that’s very sad.
‘How are we going to get our economy back to how it used to be? If you go into a new role, you want to see what your manager is doing.
‘If you’re manager is at home, you can’t make the most out of your employment.’
But angry commenters were quick to criticise his comments, branding his views as ‘small-minded old drivel’ and suggesting he had not felt the stress of making the morning school run before work.
Melanie Darlington, an HR technical manager, said: ‘This is possibly the most offensive, small minded post I have ever seen.
‘Whilst you might have bought yourself some notoriety as a result of this post I fear that you might have damaged your company’s chance of recruitment even further.
‘I am confident if your company came up on my radar I would not recommend it to anyone.
‘Your job as a recruitment consultant is to support your clients but also your candidates. Frankly embarrassing. Wishing you all the best though – it’s nice to be nice.’
Content and marketing specialist Danielle Bagnall wrote: ‘Employees should be entitled to a choice if they get the job done.
‘Productivity has actually increased through the WFH trend… maybe it would have been prudent to do your research before spouting off dated old drivel such as this?’
While Nathalie Maillet added: ‘I guess you never rushed to get your kids to school first thing in the morning, then run to take a packed train/tube (that is if you can get on it), worried that you are going to be late to a meeting because it has stopped at a red signal, arrived all stressed by the commute and do that back again every day. Then maybe you would change your mind.’
Angry workers were quick to criticise his dividing opinions on LinkedIn, branding his views as ‘small-minded old drivel’, while other praised him for saying what ‘everyone is thinking’
And company director Craig Bagnall wrote: ‘One of the c***piest posts I have ever read. And from a recruiter too! Clearly you don’t understand the new world where tech actually works.
‘If candidates want to WFH then why not! Sounds more like you don’t like the fact candidates have power in this market and can decide where they want to work. Don’t tarnish everyone with your idiotic comments.’
Although not many people were in support of his comments, some thought that it took ‘guts’ to voice his dividing opinions publicly.
Recruitment consultant Neil Prestwich said: ‘Great post James, mainly for the fact that you have told it as you see it and have had the guts to say it on a public platform.
‘Not many do these days. I read a lot of the comments on your feed and noticed that whilst there was a lot of negativity, most (not all) came from people who don’t thrive on social interaction (i e. Non-sales or IT) and are quite happy sitting in front of a laptop or pc all day. I suspect that IT people in particular need the solace of a quiet space.
‘Now before people start having a pop, I speak to recruitment business owners and managers every single day and whilst publicly they ‘support’ wfh, privately they hate it………again NOT all, but certainly the majority.
‘We know that we are very fortunate that we have a fantastic buzzy atmosphere in our office and not a single person in our office when offered the option said YES to work from home.
‘We run a sales office and love the celebrating wins together, sharing ideas, candidates etc and working collaboratively.
‘Does wfh work, maybe in certain industries and sectors, but in a busy recruitment office it’s not for us either. One last point, working on your own doesn’t necessarily promote good mental health in my opinion, but again that is just my opinion.’
It comes after a study revealed towns and villages across the UK could see a major financial boost thanks to the growth of hybrid working because of the pandemic.
Research by the International Work Place Group (IWG) and design company Arup found rural and suburban economies ‘could generate up to an extra £327 million a year’ due to the forecasted expansion of flexible office and co-working spaces to meet the growing demand for hybrid work.
Towns that have experienced major increases in demand for office space include Bromsgrove (153 per cent), Marlow (66 per cent) and Evesham (58 per cent), according to the research.
Research by the International Work Place Group (IWG) predicts that working from home will see dramatic changes to commuting times. In the UK, the average commute is 58 minutes
Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show home workers only spend six-and-a-half hours a day on work
The study also estimated that more than 4,000 new jobs can be created to support office workers who look to cut down on commuting and work from locations closer to where they live.
IWG said its research suggested that almost 50 per cent of all office workers would ‘quit their job’ if they were asked to go back to their office on a permanent five-day basis.
IWG predicts that the change will see dramatic changes to commuting times. In the UK the current average commute is 58 minutes.
Mark Dixon, chief executive of IWG, which provides flexible work and office space, said: ‘Over the last 18 months we’ve seen businesses not only recognise the benefits hybrid working has on their productivity and their bottom line, but this report demonstrates its growing importance to local communities too.
‘Throughout the UK we are seeing previously dormitory towns and villages come back to life as workers split their time between home, a local workspace and corporate HQ.
‘With hundreds more rural and suburban flexible working locations expected to open in the coming years, we expect a wide range of vibrant local communities develop with thriving businesses at their heart.’
The report used the company’s growth plans of 800 to 1,200 new workspace locations in suburbs, towns and villages across the UK by 2030. It then modelled the economic impact of that growth, using expected occupancy rates in the new workspaces, across the country.
Up to 30 per cent of the global office market is likely to be flexible by 2025 according to the property consultancy JLL, which researchers say will lead to a major shift in where and how people work.
Meanwhile, many workers returning to offices are struggling to cope with noise or problems with facilities such as video conferencing, a new study suggests.
Research among 2,000 adults indicated that most of those who worked from home during the pandemic have now gone back to offices at least once.
The Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management said only one in four of those it questioned noticed any changes to their office layout on their return.
Meanwhile, a study suggested that almost 50 per cent of all office workers would ‘quit their job’ if they were asked to go back to their office on a permanent five-day basis (file image)
Seven in 10 home workers in the West Midlands, Northern Ireland and London have returned at least temporarily to the office, compared to half in the South West, Wales and North West, said the report.
Scottish workers were said to be the least likely to have tried to return.
Half of respondents believed they are more productive working from home, especially among younger workers.
Linda Hausmanis, chief executive of the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management, said: ‘We are now at a tipping point, where the majority of us have had the chance to sample working from the office once again.
‘For far too many this has been a disappointing and frustrating experience. Employers must invest to allow workplaces to reflect new working realities, or risk a calamitous decline in productivity.
‘As we move into new modes of working, businesses must adapt physical spaces, working culture and supporting technologies.’
It comes after Boris Johnson revealed his ‘Plan B’ for tackling Covid over the winter and threatened to bring back wide-scale working from home rules if infections soared.
Home working could return after being eased over the summer after a warning from Mr Johnson’s top medical and scientific advisers that ‘winter is coming’ and he might need to ‘go early and go hard’ with restrictions.
However, the Prime Minister’s winter plan alarmed businesses and enraged Tory MPs, who heckled Sajid Javid in the Commons as he said it includes the ‘Plan B’ of making masks compulsory ‘in certain settings’, more working from home and social distancing if the NHS is under threat.