‘Working from home is lazy and those who want to must grow up’ says Ryan-Mark

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I'm always happy when I enrage Twitter, and after a torrent of vitriolic messages and thousands of views online, I knew my argument made sense last week on Good Morning Britain.

It's one of my favourite shows on telly; great presenters, great topics, and an amazing team of producers who work incredibly hard.

There's no morning show quite like it.

Recently, I was called to debate whether people need to return to the offices in order to progress in their careers, specifically young people.

This comes in the wake of Rishi Sunak's comments, suggesting he found office working "really beneficial" at the start of his career, and I agree.

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I've been working at home, most of the time, for the past year.

I despise it.

I feel isolated, miserable, and craving some kind of social interaction with my colleagues and friends who make working enjoyable, most of the time…

There's nothing like celebrating success at work with your colleagues, proving your worth to your boss, and building relationships that can last a lifetime.

That's why I was so astonished entrepreneur, Izzy Obeng (also in her 20s), was so passionate for remote working as an indefinite scenario for staff working in her business.

What a dystopian reality…

I can certainly say I wouldn't dream of working for any business that imposes remote working on the staff or actively encourages it.

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Echoing what I said on Good Morning Britain and more recently on BBC Radio, for some young people who have recently graduated from school or university, they are entering the world of work for the first time.

Therefore, they're itching to put on a suit, meet their colleagues and boss in-person, develop friendships, and perform in their role to the highest level.

None of which can be achieved at home.

Instead, people like Izzy would seemingly be happy for these eager youngsters to roll out of bed, stroll downstairs, switch on their laptop, and work in their pyjamas.

After all, who cares, right? As long as you get the work done and no one complains – it shouldn't matter.

You might as well encourage bosses, especially those leading large multi-national firms, to hire abroad where the labour is cheaper if everything can be done remotely.

No, no, no.

We can't allow the next generation of workers to become complacent and think 'working from home' is this miraculous invention of the pandemic that is 'forward-thinking' and a 'sign of the times'.

This is a harmful and insidious mentality that promotes apathy, laziness, and encourages a working lifestyle that makes it hard to create a boundary between 'personal life' and 'work life'.

I've been speaking to many friends who have also worked from home for the past year, and they're finding it incredibly hard to 'switch off' after they finish a shift.

Subsequently making them feel overwhelmed and experiencing a lack of productivity compared to working in an office full-time, as they did prior to the pandemic.

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I'm sure, whoever is reading this, you have colleagues who want to escape the house and want the option to complete work away from where you enjoy your life with family and close friends.

It's not a long-term fix that I can see extending beyond 2021, and definitely not something I would subscribe to either.

Of course I do see some benefits, like saving transport costs if you commute to work on a train, tube, or bus – which is great.

However, the ceremony of getting dressed in a suit, looking presentable, and travelling to places that require our attendance is just a fact of life.

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What kind of lesson do you want to teach the next generation of workers if they're seeing their parents, siblings, role models lounging around at home and not showing any dedication or enthusiasm for their job?

Again, I have to go back to my friends who have all objectively told me that they feel proud to wear their suits, enter the office, and represent their company.

They're tired of looking back at a screen of empty, melancholic faces on Zoom who all seem to be after the same simple pleasures: office banter, good energy, and the chance to casually speak to your colleagues or boss without booking an online meeting (which is totally tedious, by the way).

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Ignoring career progression for a second, how about some attention for local business?

Many independent and family-owned coffee shops, cafés, small stores, and others across this country, rely on the weekly working trade to survive.

What happens when workers are at home? These businesses collapse. The local economy, including building owners, need office workers to return in order to keep them running.

Without us making an effort to commute to the office, they're existence becomes pretty pointless.

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Admit it, that's not something you'd like to see and why contribute to the downfall of small businesses who have already suffered tremendously during this pandemic.

All because you can't be bothered to get dressed and pay £7 for a train into Zone 1?

Grow up!

Now is the time to pull up your trousers, tie your laces, pack your lunch, hop on a tube, and go to work.

Now is the time to do your bit for the country.

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  • Ryan-Mark Parsons

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