Lord Sugar has said the majority of people who work from home are “lazy gits.”
The business tycoon made the comment in response to a Twitter user in a dispute about home working.
It came after Tory minister Jacob Rees-Mogg announced he planned to sell off £1.5 billion in government premises in central London as civil servants continued to work from home.
Lord Sugar tweeted: “... most who work from home watch more TV than work. There are a few exceptions but the majority are lazy gits.”
“When some of my companies recruit the first question asked by some applicants is 'can I work from home'. They are shown the door.”
Some Twitter users accused Lord Sugar of hypocrisy, pointing to a previous tweet where he said he could deal with work wherever he was in the world.
He wrote: “There is no scenario ( apart from when I am sleeping) where I am unable to deal with things instantly no matter where I am in the world I am open 24/7."
A study from Havard Business Review found workers were more productive from home.
When comparing workers from 2013 and 2020 (during the COVID lockdown) researchers discovered they were drawn into large meetings 12% less and had 9% more interaction time with customers and external partners.
A report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) also found 56% of companies thought a flexible working option was important to provide in job adverts and was key in attracting staff.
Rees-Mogg, minister for Brexit opportunities and government efficiency, revealed in the Sunday Telegraph he was planning to sell off government buildings because he felt taxpayers should not have to “fork out for half-empty buildings” due to civil servants working from home.
He said he would this week publish a government Property Strategy aimed at realising £2 billion in savings from property sales and efficiencies, which will consolidate staff into fewer buildings as part of a network of government “hubs”.
According to the Telegraph, it will highlight a “further £500 million of savings” that has been targeted by a reduction in operating costs with moving civil servants out of London.
The paper added that the “new strategy” would “feed into” the existing Places for Growth programme which the Cabinet Office announced in June.
The Cabinet Office estimated up to £31 billion would be generated in economic benefits by the programme which aimed to build civil service career pathways outside of London by moving 22,000 roles out of the capital by 2030.
Rees-Mogg has run a long campaign to encourage civil servants to return to the office after coronavirus restrictions were scrapped.
The former Commons leader was criticised after he left calling cards in “deserted” Whitehall workspaces and wrote to cabinet ministers urging them to coerce staff into a “rapid return to the office”.