Businesswoman says home working is 'bad example' for kids

Is working from home bad parenting? Businesswoman claims not going into the office sets the wrong example for children and likens it to claiming benefits

  • Chairman of Women into Business Tina Knight appeared on GMB this morning 
  • Said companies are ‘blackmailed’ into letting employees keep home working
  • Compared mindset of home working to those claiming unemployment benefits
  • Geeta Sidhu-Robb, CEO of Nosh Detox, said she had an ‘offensive approach’ 

A businesswoman who said that working from home is setting a ‘bad example’ to children has been branded ‘offensive and old fashioned’. 

Tina Knight, from Essex, said parents continuing to work remotely could be harmful to the future generation of workers, branding the ‘sense of entitlement’ among the public ‘incredible’. 

Appearing on Good Morning Britain today, she compared the mindset about working from home passed on to children from parents to that of those claiming unemployment benefits. 

After building up her own electronics company, Miss Knight was presented with the 1988 Women in Business Award by Margaret Thatcher, and now sits on the boards of companies in both the private and public sector.

Geeta Sidhu-Robb, owner of company Nosh Detox criticised her argument, insisting her approach is ‘another stick to beat women with’, saying employees are often more productive at home. 

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Tina Knight, chairman of Women into Business, said parents continuing to work remotely could be harmful to the future generation of workers, branding the ‘sense of entitlement’ among the public ‘incredible’

Geeta Sidhu-Robb, owner of company Nosh Detox criticised her argument, insisting her approach is ‘another stick to beat women with’ and saying employees are often more productive at home

‘The problem is people don’t want to hear the truth, everything has to be sugar coated,’ said Tina from her home in Essex. ‘I think it’s not the next generation, it’s here with us now.

‘If you were to ask someone what they would like to do, everybody would like to work at home. Do an hour in the morning, a nice long lunch hour and an hour in the afternoon. But we have to deal with reality. 

‘Business is to make money, which makes profit which the government takes, which makes the wheels go round. Profit seems to be a dirty word, but for profit you have to have productivity.’ 

She argued that in the first few months of the pandemic Brits adopted a ‘euphoric Dunkirk spirit’ and productivity spiked, but says longterm impacts could be more harmful. 

Tina says longterm impacts of working from home could be more harmful than returning to the office, but Geeta was quick to criticise her argument, pointing out that she has successfully raised three children while running a thriving company from home 

‘You’re finding the mental problem is becoming more pronounced because people like the camaraderie of working,’ she said. 

‘The buzz of working, the brainstorming, the general things that give extra output, and companies are now finding that missing and a lot of the reason companies are bowing to the pressure is the shortage of staff in certain sectors, they’re being blackmailed into it.’ 

Geeta, from London, from was quick to criticise her argument, pointing out that she has successfully raised three children while running a thriving company from home. 

‘To me that’s not just old fashioned, I think old fashioned is a very polite way of putting it. I think it’s quite an offensive approach’, she said. ‘It is yet another stick to beat women with when they’re really just trying to do the best they’re trying to do. 

‘I’ve been working from home for 18 years because my eldest son was very ill and I had to make the money to pay the bills and look after my children, there wasn’t a way to do it, it is incredibly offensive to say I work an hour a day. 

Tina argued that as chairman of Women into Business she is in favour of women choosing tow work from home and starting businesses remotely after they have children, adding they are ‘often very successful’

‘I put three kids through private school, have built a business and employ people. I get dressed in the morning and I come downstairs treat it as an office, work down here and put in eight to ten hour days as my business needs it. 

‘It’s all very well with everyone being very wealthy, but for everyone else we’ve had such a hard time. We’re doing the very best we can and this sort of thing is trying to make you feel bad.’ 

Tina argued that as chairman of Women into Business she is in favour of women choosing to work from home and starting businesses remotely after they have children, adding they are ‘often very successful’. 

‘But as their business grows and they become more successful and they start employing people and reality sets in then attitudes to change’, she said. ‘It’s all very well saying you have expenses, it’s what’s called life but you have to make the wheels go round. 

She went on to argue that many people will work longer hours at home than they would in the office, adding that the attitudes of parents towards working are often passed on to their children

‘If people want to have their own business and work from home that’s fine, but when you have larger business and you personally are relying on raising enough funds to pay wages, you’ve got to compete with other countries outside. You have to look at it from a different perspective. 

‘It’s offensive not to tell the truth, it may offend but it’s certainly not offensive.’

She went on to argue that many people will work longer hours at home than they would in the office, adding that the attitudes of parents towards working are often passed on to their children. 

‘It is setting a bad example,’ she said. ‘I did very quickly read this morning what a gentleman said and he used the example of unemployment benefits and how that has now set bad examples. You’ve got three generations of families now who have never gone to work because it’s a mindset.

‘I can see, he’s looking at that as the way things are going. The sense of entitlement of people now days is absolutely incredible. In my day, it was a day’s work for a day’s pay. I don’t see what’s wrong in that.’ 

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