James Dyson slams UK’s new flexible work policy as ‘shockingly counterproductive’

  • Sir James Dyson has criticized plans in the UK to extend the rights of employees to work from home.
  • Writing in The Times, the billionaire said the policy change is “economically illiterate and staggeringly self-defeating.”
  • Without control over where employees work, companies like Dyson will be hesitant to invest in the UK, he said.

Sir James Dyson believes that the UK’s plans to allow employees to continue working from home are “shockingly counterproductive”.

“The government talks haughtily of the UK as a ‘scientific and technological superpower’ while doing everything possible to achieve the exact opposite,” the founder and chief engineer of multinational technology company Dyson wrote in a comment on 8 February. December for The Times.

Under the new legislation, UK workers will have the right to request flexible working arrangements even on their first day of work, according to a UK government press release on December 5. This policy change is part of the government’s plans to make flexible working the default.

However, such a move, which comes during a global recession, is a “misguided approach” that will “create friction between employers and employees,” Dyson wrote.

Without control over where their employees can work, “ambitious, high-growth companies” like Dyson, which has 3,500 employees in Britain, will be hesitant to invest in the UK, the businessman added.

“We have seen from our own experience at Dyson during periods of government-imposed work-from-home just how profoundly inefficient it is,” Dyson wrote. “It avoids the in-person collaboration and training we need to develop new technologies and stay competitive against global rivals.”

The billionaire also criticized lawmakers who were in favor of the reform, writing that the policy was “helped by many public servants who enjoy working from home, despite the shockingly poor public service they often provide and their appalling record of delivery. “

Dyson, who is currently worth an estimated $15.4 billion, is not the first business leader to speak out against flexible working arrangements for employees.

In August, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon pushed back against remote work, saying it “slows down honesty and decision-making.”

In November, just two weeks after taking over the company, Elon Musk sent a 2:30 a.m. email to Twitter staff, asking them to return to the office “a minimum of 40 hours per week.”

Dyson did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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