Some business leaders contend that remote jobs dampen productivity and harm company cultures.
- In an extensive Twitter thread, two San Francisco-based business executives extensively wrote against the negative impact of remote work.
- Tech startup Lindy founder Flo Crivello released a company memo on May 22, arguing that they have changed their mind about the benefits of remote work and will be moving their company back to San Francisco.
- Crivello argues that remote “makes it harder for a startup to succeed or find product/market fit” and that the technical and logistical challenges of remote work compound and harmed his startup.
- Craft Ventures venture capitalist David Sacks further extrapolated his issues with remote work, arguing that “It’s time to admit that Remote Work doesn’t work.”
- He argues that remote culture is a poor way to build a great company or startup and that remote startups usually collapse due to a lack of scalability.
- Sacks argues that companies need a tightly managed environment to build energy, work ethics, and team dynamics.
Why It’s Important
Crivello and Sacks are not the first business leaders to speak aggressively against remote work. The business world has been attempting to reign in remote jobs since last year, with many companies posting public demands for employees to return to the office by Labor Day 2022. The demand was met by widespread disagreement from employees who felt they were more productive at home and enjoyed home comforts and less commuting.
Many prominent business leaders have spoken out against the practice. The late real-estate billionaire Sam Zell told his audience that remote work is “bulls***” and argued it harms productivity. Twitter owner Elon Musk has demanded his remote staff return to the offices or surrender their positions. Disney CEO Bob Iger has cracked down on remote work to improve productivity and cohesion. IBM’s Arvind Krishna, OpenAI’s Sam Altman, and Lyft’s David Risher have all argued against remote work.
Companies like Apple, Netsuite, AT&T, General Motors, Morgan Stanley, BlackRock, Prudential Financial, and BMO Financial Group attempted to push mandatory office returns on staff. They largely failed.
More than 50% of workers argue that remote work has improved their productivity and morale. The overall market is likely moving in a direction where jobs that can be remotely worked, particularly for successful and established companies, will be allowed to be as a means to pleasing administrative employees or positions that require less interpersonal interaction.
Employees feel more emboldened to make demands due to strong job numbers and low unemployment rates, with as many as 46% of American workers saying they plan to leave their new jobs this year for greener pastures. This new “flexetariat” may have the power to force remote and hybrid jobs on the job market, against the desire of business leaders.