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Manchester United Owner Bans Remote Work

Manchester United Football Stadium

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Manchester United's minority owner, has banned remote work for all the club's staff.

During a comprehensive all-staff meeting last week, he cited decreased productivity as the main reason. 

The meeting, conducted in person and via video call, was part of Ratcliffe's tour of Old Trafford and the Carrington training base.

During the meeting, Ratcliffe shared statistics indicating a 20 percent reduction in email traffic when one of his companies implemented work-from-home Fridays. 

Based on this observation, he decided to end the flexible work-from-home policy that had been in place since Covid-19.

Ratcliffe, who also implements these practices at his company Ineos, said having all employees onsite would boost productivity and foster better unity and collaboration among the staff.

Ratcliffe's directive was straightforward: "If you don’t like it, please seek ­alternative employment." 

This stance, however, has led to some confusion and dissatisfaction among the staff. 

Many see the move as a shortsighted solution to the issue of productivity and also humorously impractical.

"If you don’t like it, please seek ­alternative employment"

This is given the lack of adequate office space at the Manchester and London locations. 

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Some spaces that could accommodate staff are presently used for hospitality and other activities.

In response to these logistical issues, a working group has been formed to implement Ratcliffe's new policy. 

Additional challenges the group faces include addressing the needs of employees who reside far from the Manchester and London offices and those on flexible contracts that do not require onsite presence.

Ratcliffe's influence affected even commercial staff, despite initial indications that Ineos would only manage football-related activities. 

During his visit, Ratcliffe also criticised the general untidiness within the club's facilities, calling some offices a “disgrace” and the dressing rooms as "not much better."

These changes precede the upcoming appointment of Omar Berrada as CEO, who is currently on gardening leave following his departure from Manchester City.

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