Martha Stewart criticizes hybrid work, compares the US to France


Martha Stewart has waded into the hotly contested debate about telecommuting.

In an interview with Footwear News magazine, the author, TV personality and entrepreneur criticized the hybrid work culture, saying that people “can’t possibly get everything done three days a week in the office and two days remotely.”

Stewart’s comments come as more executives push to end the work-from-home trend that took hold more than three years ago at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stewart compared the state of personal labor in the United States to France, calling it “not a very flourishing country.”

“Look at the success of France with their stupid … you know, off until August, blah blah blah. It’s not a very prosperous country. Should America go down the drain because people don’t want to go back to work?”

Stewart told the magazine that she is on a “rampage” to get people in the US back into offices.

Stewart is not the only high-profile figure strongly advocating personal work. CEOs of many banks, including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, asked some employees to return to work five days a week for the past two years.

More recently, Telsa CEO Elon Musk came down even harder on the trend of working from home, calling it “morally wrong.”

The question of whether personal work is necessary was thrown into high gear three years ago when many companies decided to send most white-collar workers home at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since then, office culture has yet to fully recover. According to sweep data from Kastle Systems, this week’s average office occupancy remains at about 48% of pre-pandemic levels.

Many offices have met employees in the middle and adopted hybrid working models, meaning workers can continue to work from home on certain days of the week.

However, remote work has its defenders. Some workers have told CNN that the ability to work remotely has changed their lives for the better, and that they would rather quit their jobs than return to in-person work.

“Some people work better from home. I never wake up dreading work because I’m at home, copywriter Ryan Bernsten told CNN last year.

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