Mark McGowan unleashes an extraordinary rant about working-from-home: Western Australia Premier

Lockdown-loving premier Mark McGowan unleashes on ‘laptops in the kitchen culture’ in extraordinary rant demanding workers return to the office – but does he have a point?

  • Mark McGowan says working from home is ‘not good for community or society’
  • He said he would prefer for people to stop working from home as less Covid risk 
  • WA premier argues working from home does not generate collaborative culture 

Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan has slammed work-from-home culture and said it is ‘not good for society or the community’.

His extraordinary comments come as his state government prepares to scrap its controversial state of emergency powers that were introduced during the pandemic.

Addressing reporters, Mr McGowan said he’d prefer for people to stop working from home now that the risk of Covid has lessened.  

‘I’m a little bit old fashioned about people going into work. I mean police officers, construction workers, mining workers, teachers, nurses, journalists and lots of people out there go to work,’ he said. 

‘It creates collegiality, it creates a culture that’s constructive, people work together to achieve outcomes.

‘Everyone sitting in their kitchen on their laptops I don’t think generates that.’

Mark McGowan said he'd prefer for people to stop working from home now that the risk of Covid has lessened

Mark McGowan said he’d prefer for people to stop working from home now that the risk of Covid has lessened

The premier also said that workers going to the CBD would mean that people employed in industries retail, restaurants and cafes were also more supported. 

‘Everyone at home on their laptop all day doesn’t reflect the working requirements of lots of other people and I don’t think it breeds a good culture. 

‘It also means that your CBDs, retail outlets, shops or cafes, restaurants, all those people trying to make a living lose custom. The same thing occurs across the suburbs and across the town centres all over Western Australia. 

‘Sometimes there are requirements, you can negotiate it with your employer to work from home, sometimes you might work appropriately in individual circumstances.

‘But across the board working from home I just don’t think it’s good for society and good for the community.’

He made similar comments during a radio interview, prompting anger from some callers.

However, his comments were welcomed by City of Perth Lord mayor Basil Zempilas.

Mr Zempilas said Mr McGowan’s comments reflected the city’s position and he urged the premier to bring all public servants back to the city for a full working week.

It comes as the state government prepares to scrap its controversial state of

Mr McGowan says that  working from home is 'not good for community or society' (stock)

Mr McGowan says that  working from home is ‘not good for community or society’ (stock)

‘The premier’s strong message is welcomed and by extension, we hope this means every government worker who works in the CBD will be in their office five days a week effective immediately,’ he said. 

‘The best place for our city workers to be is in the city. It is better for the businesses that they work for and, clearly, it is better for the retailers, business owners and cafés and restaurants that thrive off their patronage.’

The state government is preparing to scrap its state of emergency powers. 

The controversial laws have been in place since March 2020 and have given the government extraordinary powers to impose restrictions such as closing the border and enforcing mask mandates. 

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