'Shark Tank' star Kevin O'Leary prefers his employees work from home — unlike Elon Musk
Kevin O'Leary said he doesn't believe remote work is "morally wrong" and sees it as a cost-saver.
The "Shark Tank" star said about 40% of his companies are "never" coming back to the office.
Elon Musk said on Tuesday it's unfair some workers can work remotely, while service workers can't.
"Shark Tank" star Kevin O'Leary says he doesn't agree with Elon Musk when it comes to the debate on remote work — he actually prefers the employees at his 54 companies work from home.
"You can't tell me this doesn't work," O'Leary said, during an interview with CNN on Thursday. "In fact, I want to do more of this because I'm reducing my costs of real estate."
O'Leary said that he's seen a 20% increase in pre-tax cashflow as a result of more people working from home since the pandemic. He said that across his 54 companies about 40% of them have decided they are "never" coming back to the office.
A study from last year found that companies can save up to $11,000 for every employee working two or three days at home each week. The research firm Global Workplace Analytics said the savings were the result of lower rent and staff turnover, as well as increased productivity.
Earlier this week, Musk spoke out against remote work and said that the "laptop classes are living in la-la land," during an interview with CNBC.
Musk said that he thinks it's unfair that remote workers are able to work from the comfort of their own homes, while the people that make their cars or food have no other option but to physically go into work everyday and called the work-from-home movement "morally wrong."
O'Leary told CNN he doesn't see the practice as morally wrong.
"The world's changed. The economy has changed. The ethics of work has changed," O'Leary said, adding that the idea of allowing people to work remotely was viewed as "too risky" before the pandemic, but has since becomes "a proven effective method of project management."
Though, the investor said he could understand why Musk would be against remote work at businesses like Tesla and SpaceX.
"I get the idea that you want collaboration between engineers," O'Leary said of Musk's companies. "They're sitting around trying to solve design problems or whatever, but it has nothing to do with the other ten sectors of the economy, which have already made a decision."
Musk has already taken strides to bring his workers into the office. Last year, he told Tesla workers to return to the office fulltime or quit. He has also called Twitter's staff back into the office.
While tech workers have spoken out against Musk's comments on remote work, other tech companies have also taken similar steps to bring workers back to in-person work.
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