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AO boss bans hybrid working and tells staff to get back to offices or quit


AO World’s CEO and founder John Roberts has issued a warning to the company’s 3,000 employees, stating if they are not happy with the new policy of working in the office full time, they should quit.

According to The Times, the white goods retailer has banned flexible working for its employees since the beginning of the year.

Roberts revealed a number of employees had already resigned due to the policy change, and he “wishes some other people would as well” if they are not satisfied with the policy.

Read More: Successful cost-cutting plan leads to AO hiking earnings outlook for third time

Roberts argues employees who work from home could find their jobs outsourced overseas, as working from home is only a step away from outsourcing, and cheaper workers could be sourced in places such as India.

He said the production levels of those who do not want to be in the office are much lower and said everyone almost breathes a sigh of relief when those people leave.


In terms of recruitment, Roberts claims the company has not experienced any difficulties in hiring new staff, following its raised profit guidance for its recent financial year.

Read More: AO remains upbeat on profits despite widening losses

In its trading update for the six months ending 30 September, AO World stated it now expects profits to come in at around the top end of the £37.5 million to £45 million adjusted EBITDA.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a shift towards remote working, with many companies embracing flexible working policies.

However, some companies are now pushing for a return to the office.

Despite the benefits of remote work, such as increased productivity and job satisfaction, there are also drawbacks, such as feelings of isolation and difficulties in communication.

Read More: UK Government urged to start “open and constructive” talks as industrial action continues to cause chaos

Employers must balance the needs of their business with the needs of their employees.

While some employees may thrive in a remote working environment, others may prefer the structure and routine of working in an office.

Employers must also consider the risks associated with remote working, such as cybersecurity threats, and take appropriate measures to protect their business.

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Mr. Roberts' comments on the new policy of working in the office full time have sparked controversy.

While some employees may not be satisfied with the policy change, Roberts argues that it is necessary to maintain production levels and prevent outsourcing.

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