Billionaire Elon Musk faced backlash in recent days for a tweet he wrote about a possible upcoming recession. In his opinion, that would not necessarily be a bad thing.
“This is actually a good thing,” Musk tweeted on May 26. “It has been raining money on fools for too long. Some bankruptcies need to happen.”
Musk specified that a recession could be especially helpful in ridding the economy of inefficient workers.
“All the Covid stay-at-home stuff has tricked people into thinking that you don’t actually need to work hard,” Musk said.
Yes, but this is actually a good thing. It has been raining money on fools for too long. Some bankruptcies need to happen.
Also, all the Covid stay-at-home stuff has tricked people into thinking that you don’t actually need to work hard. Rude awakening inbound!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 27, 2022
Many Twitter users were quick to push back against Musk’s claim that at-home workers were inherently lazy.
“I disagree,” one respondent tweeted. “I work from home and work more than I ever have.”
I disagree. I work from home and work more than I ever have. There is no work life balance. Just because you don’t allow l your company a work from home model doesn’t mean you need to crap on companies that do.
— sherenoyz (@minusnoise) May 27, 2022
There has been much debate about the efficiency of at-home working since the economy’s initial transition to greater remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Data published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in early 2021 pointed toward a positive outcome. It revealed that labor productivity increased by an above-average rate of 1.8 percent between the second quarter of 2020, when many Americans began transitioning to remote work, and the second quarter of 2021, a year later.
These statistics led some economists to believe that remote workers were more productive.
More recent data published by the Bureau, however, indicates otherwise.
In April, the Bureau reported a 0.6-percent decrease in labor productivity between the first quarter of 2021 to the first quarter of 2022. This suggests that the increase in productivity was only temporary.
Many economists are now asserting that remote workers are less productive.
Recent studies also support Musk’s claims by demonstrating the general inefficiencies — aside from productivity levels — that are produced by remote workers.
One U.S. study tested the effects of remote working on individual promotions. The study found that while 17 percent of in-person workers received promotions, only 5 percent of at-home workers received them.
A 2015 Chinese study produced similar results wherein the case’s remote workers received promotions at a rate that was nearly half that of the in-person employees, according to the Washington Post.
American companies are coming to the same conclusion.
A report released by Microsoft covering 61,182 employees found that the company was less efficient, thanks to an increase of at-home workers during the pandemic.
“Firm-wide remote work caused the collaboration network of workers to become more static and siloed, with fewer bridges between disparate parts,” Microsoft said.
According to Microsoft, the individualized nature of remote work made it “harder for employees to acquire and share new information across the network.”
During the last two years, the work-from-home economic model has failed to produce long-term productivity.
In short, remote workers have a harder time collaborating with others.
One would think that workers are more efficient when they can focus on their work at home with no distractions. However, companies profit from the creation of ideas. Less-collaborative environments create fewer new ideas.
If the looming recession predicted by so many economists comes to fruition, American companies may be forced to contract their operations.
The first to go? The least productive workers — which, according to these studies, tend to be remote workers.
As tempting as it may be to ditch commutes and work from the comfort of one’s home, remote working may pose a big risk to job security.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.