Kevin O’Leary, a billionaire investor and star of the reality TV show Shark Tank, has challenged Elon Musk’s view that working from home is immoral and inefficient. He says remote work has boosted his free cash flow and productivity across his 54 companies.
Mr. O’Leary’s comments come after Mr. Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, questioned the morality and productivity of remote workers in an interview with CNBC last week. He said that some people who work from home are asking others to not work from home while they do, which he called “messed up” and “a moral issue”.
Mr. Musk also said that he prefers to have his engineers collaborate in person to solve design problems, and that remote work is not suitable for highly engineered businesses like his.
Mr. O’Leary, who owns businesses in various sectors and states, disagrees with Mr. Musk’s stance. He told CNN Business that remote work is a proven method of project management and that the world has changed after the pandemic.
He said that 40% of his staff are working remotely and that he wants to see more of it. He cited a 20% increase in his free cash flow as a result of reduced real estate costs and increased efficiency.
“So you can’t tell me this doesn’t work, in fact, I want to do more of this because I’m reducing my costs of real estate,” he said.
Mr. O’Leary also said that he does not think working from home is unethical or immoral, as Mr. Musk suggested. He said that remote work is a matter of choice and preference for both employers and employees.
He added that he respects Mr. Musk’s opinion but that it has nothing to do with the other ten sectors of the economy that have already adopted hybrid working models.
Mr. O’Leary’s views are in line with a recent study from McKinsey & Company, which found that 87% of the American workforce would choose to work somewhat flexibly if offered the opportunity. The consulting firm also advised employers to invest in technology, policies and training to create workplaces that integrate remote and on-site workers.
The debate over remote work has intensified as more companies announce their plans for the post-pandemic era. Some, like Google and Facebook, have embraced hybrid models that allow employees to work from home for part of the week. Others, like Apple and Amazon, have asked most of their staff to return to the office by the fall.
- Kevin O’Leary has ripped apart Musk’s criticisms of remote work | Fortune | May 19, 2023
- Kevin O’Leary slams Elon Musk’s ‘immoral’ stance on remote work | Business Insider | May 20, 2023
- Kevin O’Leary says Elon Musk is wrong about remote work | CNN Business | May 21, 2023