Sam Altman, CEO, OpenAI the creator of ChatGPT says that IT companies that moved to complete work from home permanently in a rush made a huge mistake. To ensure continuity of work during the COVID-19 pandemic, which mandated everyone to maintain social distancing, companies were compelled to introduce the work from home model. Some companies at the time had gone one step ahead and offered permanent work from home for its employees.
Altman said that while some of OpenAI’s employees were mostly working in-person some were working remotely. “In my opinion, most tech companies who rushed to full remote permanently made a big mistake, and the cracks are starting to show. However, it does works for some. Hard work is even less fashionable than in-person work, but I still really believe in that too,” tweeted Altman. Nonetheless, Altman also added that some of their best employees were working remotely.
“That said, some of our best people are remote, and we will continue to support it always, so please don't let hating SF stop you from applying to OpenAI! I don't like the open air fentanyl markets either,” added Altman. He also commended the kind of talent that OpenAI has at present. “I know I’m not supposed to brag about OpenAI, but the talent density at this scale (375 people) is and I don’t think has happened in the technology industry in recent memory,” added Altman. Apart from Altman, several prominent leaders in the IT industry also stated that the work from home model was not as productive as working from office.
Infosys founder Narayan Murthy’s remarks on work from home kicked up a debate last year when he mentioned at a conclave that he was not a fan of work from home as it “lowers productivity”. Murthy was of the view that work from office was needed as there had to be a demarcation between office and work. With the world resuming normalcy once again, Infosys cofounder had stated that employees must start coming back to office as well.
“When people work from home, that institutional culture will slowly become weaker and weaker,” said Murthy. Amazon India also started to call employees back to office in mid 2022 after Central and State Governments as well as Union Territories relaxed some of the stricter regulations re-establish a normal way of life post COVID-19. “’WFH’ has taken on a new meaning at Amazon India as we transition slowly from ‘Work From Home’ to ‘Work From Here’,” said the company in its blogpost on returning to office while stating that all measures were in place to ensure a smooth transition from home to office.