Minneapolis mayor jokes remote work turns you into 'a loser'

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Mpls mayor defends calling remote workers 'losers'

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey doubled down on calling remote workers "losers", saying "it was a joke". FOX 9's Mary McGuire has the story.

Mayor Jacob Frey took a swipe at remote work while touting the benefits of downtown Minneapolis during an address on Wednesday.

The mayor was speaking during the Minneapolis Downtown Council's annual meeting. While proselytizing the benefits of visiting downtown, he set his sights on remote work, saying it ultimately turns you into "a loser."

Since the pandemic, many office spaces in downtown Minneapolis have sat empty due to the corporate shift to remote work. That in turn has had a negative ripple impact on the downtown economy. Wednesday, Mayor Frey was urging folks to head back downtown.

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Mpls mayor: Remote work turns you into 'a loser'

Touting the benefits of downtown Minneapolis, Mayor Jacob Frey took a swipe at remote work.

"Right now, crime downtown is down," argued Mayor Frey. "That is something you can talk about not just at your tables, but also when you're talking to someone when you're over in the North Loop or out in the suburbs. That is part of what creates the right perception."

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Leaders push for downtown Mpls return

Mayor Jacob Frey and other leaders made a spirited plea to get people back in downtown Minneapolis on Monday.

"Come experience the greatness of downtown," said the mayor. "Come back to work."

Moving to remote work, Mayor Frey joked about the downside of spending too much time at home. "I don't know if you saw this study the other day, what this study clearly showed... is that when people who have the ability to come downtown but don't. When they stay home, sitting on their couch with their nasty cat blanket, fiddling on their laptop. If they do that for a few months, you become a loser. It's a study. We're not losers, are we?"

Frey's remarks were met with laughs from the crowd. When FOX 9 asked for information about the referenced study, a spokesperson for the mayor further clarified that Frey was joking and the study wasn't real.

"We're winners, we're resilient, we're tough, we're strong, we're innovative," the mayor concluded. "We rise to the challenge, we get knocked down seven times and we get back up eight. That is who we are as a city."

The council reports that 65 percent of the downtown workforce has come back in some capacity on a weekly basis, with Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday leading the way.