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Boris Johnson drinks from a cup as he talks to local business people after a regional cabinet meeting at Middleport Pottery in Stoke on Trent on Thursday. (Photo: Oli Scarff via PA Wire/PA Images)
Boris Johnson has referred to the temptation of cheese as he suggested working from home does not work.
The prime minister is pushing for a “rapid return” of officials to their Whitehall desks after working from home became the norm during the pandemic. He widened the call on Friday as he urged businesses to help boost the economy by doing the same as Covid-19 eases.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Johnson made the case for workers to get back to in-person working.
He said: “We need to get back into the habit of getting into the office. I believe people are more productive, more energetic, more full of ideas, when they are surrounded by other people.
“My experience of working from home is you spend an awful lot of time making another cup of coffee, and then you know, getting up, walking very slowly to the fridge, hacking off a small piece of cheese, then walking very slowly back to your laptop and then forgetting what it was you’re doing.”
The PM’s WFH “experience” did not chime with many people on social media.
At least there aren’t countless parties to distract you at home https://t.co/8PYG1Z02x8
— John Crace (@JohnJCrace) May 13, 2022
I think this says far more about Boris Johnson’s approach to work rather than working from home generally https://t.co/ndy76aTCuD
— Justin Madders MP (@justinmadders) May 13, 2022
I don't really know what to make it this crap anymore. I presume they think it appeals to someone somewhere. Who are they? https://t.co/DkmYRS4oxu
— Ian Dunt (@IanDunt) May 13, 2022
What bizarre self-reflection is this?
I now work from home and have never been more efficient. No commute. No office noise/distractions in background. No idle chit-chat leaning against desks or in the “kitchen” area. You call people you need to talk to. Done. Next thing… https://t.co/KDIFmJ4suz
— Mike Galsworthy 🇺🇦 (@mikegalsworthy) May 13, 2022
In which the Prime Minister calls 40-50% of the population lazy and ineffectual. https://t.co/zDM5LQa32j
— Mikey Smith (@mikeysmith) May 13, 2022
It now feels really weird that anyone is still listening to this gaseous fuckwad https://t.co/8Z9zKllyHV
— Andy Dawson (@profanityswan) May 13, 2022
If it turns out ministers are declaring war on the civil service just because the Prime Minister can't resist a bit of brie, then I don't know what to say https://t.co/0N4x33PSso
— Jane Merrick (@janemerrick23) May 13, 2022
Last month, Jacob Rees-Mogg – a government minister with responsibility for efficiency – was labelled a “nasty patronising man” after leaving notes on the desks of civil servants who were not in the office.
It read: “Sorry you were out when I visited. I look forward to seeing you in the office very soon. Wish every good wish.”
Earlier on Friday, Rees-Mogg defended Johnson’s plans to slash the number of civil servants by 91,000, arguing the government wanted to bring the Whitehall headcount back to where it was in 2016.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.