Get All Access for $5/mo

Author Malcolm Gladwell Slams Remote Workers: 'You're Just Sitting In Your Pajamas' Gladwell chatted with Steven Bartlett on the "Diary of a CEO" podcast to talk about remote working.

By Emily Rella

Brad Barket | Getty Images

The shift to remote work seems to have become more permanent than some people — and companies — originally expected.

This change has brought strong debate from both sides of the aisle. Some argue productivity levels haven't dwindled during the work-from-home era, while others think it is the end of human interaction as we know it.

On the "Diary of a CEO" podcast, best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell told host Steven Bartlett that he believes that working from home is causing a disconnection between people and society.

Gladwell is a five-time New York Times best-selling author, known for his nonfiction work in psychology and sociology with popular titles like "Blink" and "Outliers." He's sold an estimated 4.5 million books worldwide.

"As we face the battle that all organizations are facing now in getting people back into the office, it's really hard to explain this core psychological truth, which is we want you to have a feeling of belonging and to feel necessary," he said. "It's not in your best interest to work at home. I know it's a hassle to come into the office, but if you're just sitting in your pajamas in your bedroom, is that the work-life you want to live?"

Gladwell insisted that people must feel as if they're "a part of something important" in order to derive meaning from their jobs, other than just working and receiving a paycheck.

Though Gladwell's take may have its supporters, a majority of Americans may be inclined to disagree.

A new report from McKinsey found that 58% of Americans have the opportunity to work from home at least one day a week now, and a staggering 87% of respondents said that if given the opportunity to work remotely, they'd take it.

Still, some companies are less apt to adapt to the times.

Elon Musk was under fire earlier this summer when a leaked memo showed that he demanded Tesla executives come back into the office full time or else they would be asked to "depart" the company. Goldman Sachs also made headlines when it was revealed that the company was asking all employees to return to the office full-time, five days a week.

As for Gladwell, in 2018, he told "The Tim Ferriss Show" he starts the first few hours of his work day in a coffee shop or a restaurant.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Growing a Business

How a Local Greek Restaurant Seized Opportunities and Won a New Food Network Competition

After starting as a food truck in 2014, Think Greek has evolved into an award-winning restaurant by creating innovative menu items and taking advantage of opportunities that extend its audience reach.

Business News

How to Be a Billionaire By 25, According to a College Dropout Turned CEO Worth $1.6 Billion

Austin Russell became the world's youngest self-made billionaire in 2020 at age 25.

Growing a Business

3 Branding Strategies That Will Make Any Brand Stand Out

Here's how to differentiate your brand in three essential steps — understanding your unique selling proposition, leveraging storytelling, and valuing feedback.


How to Spot the Perfect Executive for Your Company

Hiring senior talent to run a team is a crucial moment in the story and trajectory of a company. Whether you need to hire senior talent now or are looking to gather insights for the future, it's important to be prepared for a gap in a crucial leadership position.

Science & Technology

There's No Margin for Error in Cybersecurity — Here's How to Build a Strong Online Defense through Everyday Habits

Learn how everyday habits and practices can enhance your organization's security posture.