As more and more companies move employees back into the office, a slew of big-name business executives, from Martha Stewart to Elon Musk, have publicly stated their anti-remote work views, saying employees should be working in offices and not at home "in pajamas."
But as the debate rages on, "Shark Tank" star and investor Kevin O'Leary is taking a somewhat surprising stance on the matter.
Appearing on FOX's "Outnumbered," O'Leary said companies should be offering remote work in today's corporate climate, not shying away from it.
"The economy has changed radically. The problem with saying everybody has to work in the office is you won't be able to hire the best talent," O'Leary said, noting that increased crime in cities like San Francisco is deterring people from returning to offices, whereas the lure of working in a big city pre-pandemic used to be attractive. "Nobody wants to work in these places. They're war zones. So, they want to work where they get their jobs done."
O'Leary claimed in the segment that 40% of workers won't return to offices, a big difference from the 15% that experts estimated two years ago.
Related: 'You Can't Possibly Get Everything Done': Martha Stewart Slams Remote Work, on 'Rampage' to Get Workers Back in the Office
O'Leary alleged that some office buildings are "never going to fill up again" and that many will "have to be converted into condos or climate-controlled storage."
His comments are in response to an interview that Stewart gave with Footwear News this week in which she revealed that she was on a "rampage" to end remote work as she believes it breeds a lack of productivity.
"You can't possibly get everything done working three days a week in the office and two days remotely," Stewart told the outlet. "Should America go down the drain because people don't want to go back to work?"
Related: After Being Told They Could Work From Home Forever, Employees Made Major Life Changes. Then the New CEO Ordered Them Back to the Office.
O'Leary suffered major losses earlier this year amid the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, revealing that he had moved his assets to five different financial institutions.
His estimated net worth as of Friday morning was $400 million.
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