Malcolm Gladwell and Returning to the Office

Malcolm Gladwell and Returning to the Office

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Malcolm Gladwell has received a lot of attention recently for his opinion that working from home is a poor substitute for working in the office.

“It’s very hard to feel necessary when you’re physically disconnected,”he says. “It’s not in your best interest to work at home,” he said. “I know it’s a hassle to come into the office, but if you’re just sitting in your pajamas in your bedroom, is that the work life you want to live?”

“Don’t you want to feel part of something?”

A reporter asked for comment. I wrote:

Separation and disengagement occurs in the office, too. After all, Gallup’s annual report about employee engagement in the United States indicates that 34% of workers are engaged and 16% disengaged. This compares with 36% engaged and 14% actively disengaged in 2020, a year with unprecedented highs and lows and covering pre-pandemic data. Being in the office (2020) didn’t do a good job before!

Between the engaged and the disengaged are 50% of the workforce who don’t care about what they do at work. Gladwell misinterprets his own desires for proximity and connection and says the office is a place where everyone can have that satisfied. In fact, others see work as tedium. They feel no connection at work because what they do is unsatisfying.  Others do not have the same professional privilege he has that allows him to be in control of his work. They received tasks to perform and they execute them, often repetitively.

It leads me to conclude the place of work is less important than the actual work and how people are managed and led.


Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2022 



Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2400 episodes. He also hosts Job Search TV on YouTube, and Amazon, as well as on for Apple TV and 90+ smart sets.

I do a livestream on LinkedIn, YouTube (on the account) and on Facebook (on the Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter page) Tuesdays and Fridays at 1 PM Eastern. You can send your questions about job search, hiring better, management, leadership or to get advice about a workplace issue to me through LinkedIn’s messaging .You can also message me through chat during the approximately 30 minute show.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching? People hire me to provide No BS career advice whether that is about a job search, hiring better, leadership, management or support with a workplace issue. Please click here to see my schedule to book a free discovery call or schedule time for coaching.

My courses are available on my The courses include ones about Informational InterviewsInterviewing, final interview preparation, salary negotiation mistakes to avoidthe top 10 questions to prepare for on any job interview, and starting a new job.

We grant permission for this post and others to be used on your website as long as a backlink is included and notice is provided that it is provided by Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter as an author or creator plus a backlink to

About the author

Leave a Comment, Thought, Opinion. Speak like you're speaking with someone you love.

%d bloggers like this: