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Kevin O’Leary View Remote Work Sees Positive Outcomes From A Business View Opposite Of Elon Musk

Musk stills takes an opposing view of work-from-home stances while reporting to the office is required in all of his companies.

Shortly after Tesla CEO Elon Musk strongly voiced his opinion against the work-from-home culture, “Shark Tank” investor Kevin O’Leary suggested that he has no issue with remote work.

Shark Tank television show star Kevin “Mr. Wonderful” O’Leary and wife Linda walk the red carpet at the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 6, 2023, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. JEFF MORELAND/BENZINGA

As soon as Musk bought Twitter, work-from-home policies were relinquished, which he requested workers to be present in the office instead of working from home.

This also applies for his others companies Tesla and SpaceX.

Working from home is not morally wrong, O’Leary said in an interview with CNN on Thursday. The world, the economy and the ethics of work have changed, he said.

The pandemic necessitated a move away from working in the office and toward working from home, the latter of which had been considered too risky in the past, the Canadian entrepreneur explained.

“Now, it’s a proven method of project management,” he said.

O’Leary, who famously calls himself “Mr. Wonderful,” however, gave Musk the benefit of the doubt. In highly-engineered businesses such as Tesla or SpaceX, there could be a need to work in person, O’Leary said.

“But it has nothing to do with the other 10 sectors of the economy,” he added.

While noting that he has about 54 companies across almost every state and representing almost every sector, he said just under 40% of employees are working remotely permanently.

O’Leary also noted that post-pandemic, with the work-from-home setting in place, his businesses have generated 17.5% cash flow compared to 15% before the pandemic.

“That’s a 20% increase in free cash flow. So you can’t tell me this doesn’t work,” O’Leary said.

“In fact, I want to do more of this because I’m reducing my cost of real estate,” he added.

Since the pandemic, companies have been divided over bringing people back to the office.

A study found that a company can save up to $11,000 for every employee working from home two to three days a week.

Apple, for one, has been strict about getting employees back in the office, although there have been signs of reluctance.

Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg, while announcing layoffs in March, shared an analysis that showed that company employees onboard in person and worked at the office performed better than those who joined and continued to work remotely.

Some companies have adopted remote work permanently, while others have preferred hybrid work schedules.

“It’s like, really, you’re going to work from home and you’re going to make everyone else who made your car come work in the factory? You’re going to make the people who make your food… that they can’t work from home? The people that fix your house — they can’t work from home? But, you can? Does that seem morally right?” the billionaire asked in an interview on Fox Business. “That’s messed up.” 

Produced in association with Benzinga

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