😈 Unpopular opinion : remote work suck

Nazim @Koinju
11 replies
I'm personally pro-remote, but obviously not the Netflix CEO who defended the idea that remote is bad. This reasoning is based on the fact that Netflix adopts a "High Talent Density" strategy. Basically, if you put the best talent in one place there will be a huge sharing of ideas and a gigantic creative effervescence (one of the reasons for the success of Silicon Valley, for example). If talent no longer has a place to meet, this creative serendipity disappears. What do you think about this?


Christian Heine
I appreciate the discussion. My personal view: For a non-trivial topic like this, any digital (in the sense of "YES or NO") view is problematic. Related to the argument (from Hastings?) above: Remote work (as a large-scale phenomenon) is pretty new. It's probably too early to tell. Maybe we simply have not found the right methods to address the shortcomings yet. Instead of already declaring "we should only work from home" or "we should only work remote", maybe it's really "we do both". More generalized: Crisis have the cruel tendency to lay bare all the issues in our systems. But instead of jumping to conclusions on how to fix these, I think it's always good to start with "I probably don't know", combined with empathy for those who are affected. Speaking about empathy in the context of work from home: This is actually the second post I write about this subject today. Here is the other (related to a statement from Satya Nadella) with a similar result but different focus: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/up...
Myka Javier
@christianheine Great insight! I think that both have their own set of pros and cons. Plus, it could also be circumstantial given how with the pandemic, remote work is a great advantage at the moment.
Nazim @Koinju
@christianheine thanks for your answer. Indeed, it is Reed Hastings (co-CEO of Netflix) who told the WSJ : WSJ: Have you seen benefits from people working at home? Mr. Hastings: No. I don’t see any positives. Not being able to get together in person, particularly internationally, is a pure negative. I’ve been super impressed at people’s sacrifices. I think you're absolutely right, things can't be so categorically put into perspective.This is a completely new phenomenon for traditional companies, and it is difficult to take a step back on this issue. The good answer lies in the balance between the two. Just as there must be a balance between personal and professional life. I don't have a firm opinion, that's why I asked the question, to have comments as interesting as yours :-)
Nazim @Koinju
@christianheine @msmykajavier Indeed the context is very particular, it shakes up habits. In misfortune, there is however an opportunity to question certain aspects of our professional organisations. That's pretty interesting, thanks !
Lucie Loubet
I agree with @christianheine that it doesn't have to be a love it/ban its thing. And it's still early to understand how the situation affects HR. My personal observations? A few months in, we see that: - Productivity isn't the issue. Hard-working teams are still working hard. Good teams are not a bunch of children who stop working when no one's watching. - Remote has become a must-have option for many talents. Forcing people to go to the office every day really doesn't look good. - Going from office life to 100% remote affects the sense of belonging to a team, leading to less loyalty. In other words, when you don't have a team to share your workday with, things become more transactional, and people start looking or being more open to new opportunities. - It increases silos and can change the way decisions are made. Things happen literally behind closed doors. If you're not in the team you don't know what happens. No more hearing about cool projects while having a coffee with the engineering team. And there are fewer chances for people lower in the hierarchy to observe and participate. How will it impact companies in the long run? Hard to say for now.
Christian Heine
@lucie_l Thanks for sharing that. I'm not sure about the loyalty part, but agree 100% to everything else. In fact, the (missing) sense of belonging might be one of the biggest challenges to overcome in the long run. Having switched from 100% onsite to 100% remote even before the pandemic struck, this is still one of the hardest things to deal with.
Andreea Bunica
remote work does suck, to many many extents! but it is also a huge opportunity to democratize the way we deal with employees, build systems that are more goal based and not clocking in time and so on and so forth. i think we need to find a system that is neither remote, neither in office- something more, that that capitalize on personal freedom, on inclusion, diversity and true democracy, but it also incorporates genuine human connection, as we are all missing it greatly, that's clear.
Eddie H.
I wrote a blog post on this topic (https://crucialhuman.com/blog/re...). My opinion is that a hybrid model is the future. We need a blend of remote / in-person, and there are a number of solutions. One is to provide the office as an employee resource - office on-demand. The problem is usually much deeper than the mechanics of remote work. It's a trust / culture issue. There are a number of companies that have been remote since their founding and are doing very well - Articulate, Automattic, and Doist to name a few.
Mr Ethar Alali
Disagree. Axelisys has been a fully remote organisation for most of its 9 years. It has a very robust talent pool, and doesn't need to work in the same space-time to be effective. Colocation generates a lot of energy, but energy itself, if no channelled, can be wasted through idle thumbs. You don't have to look busy to actually be productive and this is why I disagree with the Netflix boss. It's not necessary. This is not to say it doesn't happen, just that it isn't necessary.
Robert B
Strongly disagree. I have been working from home for over 6 months and there is nothing I love more. I have plenty of time that I used to go to and from the office before, I can eat well, I am with my loved ones, and above all, they keep paying me. I have taken the opportunity to add value to the http://tecno-adictos.com/ project and the truth is that we are doing very well. I can not ask for more. I support remote work and I think it should be something everyone can try.
Sanaz Bidad
We are now working remotely. Every morning, we have a daily meeting all-staff video conference. It's possible that for many types of jobs, being face to face might not matter for productivity. Not to mention, working remotely means we don't have to waste time commuting. In my opinion, technology can make working remotely much better