IBM CEO Arvind Krishna: Remote work can be 'hazardous to your career’
Despite seeing growth in its hybrid-cloud computing business during the pandemic, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna is not supportive of remote work. He believes that remote work can have a negative impact on an employee's career, particularly for those aspiring to leadership roles. He even cautioned IBM employees about the potential dangers of remote work, saying that it could be "hazardous to your career."
As per a report from India Today, Arvind Krishna cautioned his 260,000 employees that working remotely could hinder their career growth, particularly for managerial positions that require leading people. While he is not mandating anyone to return to the office immediately, he emphasised that remote workers may find it challenging to advance in their careers.
Krishna highlighted that remote management is challenging since a leader needs to interact with their team members in person occasionally. He clarified that it doesn't have to be a daily occurrence and excessive monitoring is not advisable. Nonetheless, some face-to-face communication is essential.
"Being a people manager when you're remote is just tough, because if you're managing people, you need to be able to see them once in a while," he stated. "It doesn't need to be every minute. You don't need to function under those old 'Everybody's under my eye' kind of rules, but at least sometimes."
IBM CEO Krishna emphasised that the company prefers in-person work rather than remote work, stating that "we work better when we are together in person." IBM encourages, expects, and wants employees to come into the office, but he's not mandating a return. Instead, the company recommends coming in three days a week.
IBM CEO Arvind Krishna noted that while 80% of the company's employees work from home at least some of the time, remote work is better suited for certain roles that involve individual work, like customer service or software programming.
He cautioned that while remote work may be equally productive in the short term, it can negatively impact employees' career growth in the long term. He explained that transitioning to a different role becomes more difficult because nobody is observing them in another context. While not impossible, it will be a lot tougher, he said.