Boris Johnson: stop working-from-home and get back to the office so colleagues won’t ‘gossip about you’

“If you are going to learn on the job, you can’t just do it on Zoom,” the Prime Minister said.

Boris Johnson has urged workers to return to the office to stop colleagues ‘gossiping about you’.

The Prime Minister will reiterate his message for employees to stop working-from-home in his keynote speech at the Conservative party conference, according to the Daily Mail.

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At a glance: 5 key points

  • Mr Johnson has said the data on coronavirus cases suggested there was no need to deviate from the Government’s “Plan A” for England – including encouraging people to return to their workplaces.
  • He is reportedly said to be confident that the number of Covid infections this winter will not be large enough for him to reinstate the work-from-home order.
  • A separate Conservative party source told the newspaper that officials were “not at the point” of thinking about “Plan B” - which would see the government advise people to work-from-home along with other measures to halt a rise in infections.
  • However, scientific advisers have suggested that remote working is vital to prevent transmission as Covid infection rates remain high.
  • The Prime Minister also warned that those who refused to come into the workplace risked being “gossiped about” by colleagues.

What’s been said

The Prime Minister told LBC Radio: “We have got to be humble in the face of nature and we have got to recognise that the disease, or a new variant or another pandemic, could always hit us.”

He added: “The data that I see at the moment is very clear that we are right to stick to Plan A, which is what we are on.”

That meant “encouraging people to get back to work in the normal way, and I think that’s a good thing”.

“For young people in particular, it is really essential … if you are going to learn on the job, you can’t just do it on Zoom.

“You have got to be able to come in, you have got to know what everyone else is talking about – otherwise you are going to be gossiped about and you are going to lose out.”


A rise in Covid cases last Autumn saw the government reinstate the work-from-home order. It came just weeks after workers were ordered back to the office.

The government has not yet publicly encouraged employees back to the office, although the official work-from-home guidance was removed in July.

However, many people in both the public and private sectors are continuing to work remotely.

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