L’Oréal CEO says remote staff have ‘no passion, no creativity’

By Alessandro Carrara | Published: 22-Jan-2024

L'Oréal currently allows employees to work from home two days a week, a policy implemented shortly after the Covid-19 outbreak

L'Oréal CEO Nicolas Hieronimus has expressed discontent towards work from home policies in a speech at the World Economic Forum.

Speaking at the annual event in Davos, Switzerland, Hieronimus said permanent remote workers have “absolutely no attachment, no passion, no creativity”.

“I think it’s vital to be in the office. It’s about serendipity. It’s about meeting people,” The Telegraph reported.

“And it’s also more fair to workers because we have lots of young people who have small houses or have young kids and working from home is actually very bad for their mental health.”

L'Oréal currently allows employees to work from home two days a week, a policy that has remained in place since staff began to return to the office during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hieromonis added that returning to the office full time was also fairer to the “blue collar workers that work every day in the factory”.

"One of the reasons that we hit the ground running after Covid is that we did not do like many tech companies and say everybody works from home all the time, and now they say: 'Oh my God, that was a mistake, please come back’,” he added.

Hieronimus, who has served as CEO of L'Oréal CEO since 2021, is not the only one vying for a return to pre-pandemic ways of working.

A report by accountancy firm KPMG found that at least 64% of global CEOs anticipate a full return to office by 2025.

At least 87% said they are also more likely to reward employees who make an effort to come into the office with raises or promotions.

The firm said the sentiment showcases the persistence of “traditional office-centric thinking” among CEOs.

Hybrid working has had a largely positive impact on productivity, according to KPMG, which is largely supported by the younger working generation.

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