IBM boss’s message to remote workers: ‘Your career may suffer’

IBM boss’s message to remote workers: ‘Your career may suffer’

2023-05-08 08:30:07

It doesn’t seem like IBM is bringing us good news lately… IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said he is not yet forcing any of the company’s remote workers back into the office, but warns those who don’t ” they would be in trouble to be promotedespecially in managerial roles,” reports Bloomberg.

Of the report: “Managing people when you’re remote is just hard because if you’re managing people, you have to be able to see them from time to time,” he said in an interview Monday in New York. “It doesn’t have to be every minute. You don’t have to operate by those old ‘Everybody’s under my control’ rules, but at least sometimes.” “I find we work better when we’re together in person,” said Krishna, who described the company’s return-to-office policy as “we encourage you to come, we hope you come, we want you to come.” Three days a week is the number they encourage, she said.

While about 80% of IBM employees work from home at least some of the time, Krishna said the remote arrangements are better suited for specific “individual contributor” roles, such as customer service or software developers. “In the short term, you can probably be just as productive, but your career suffers,” she said. “Going from there to another role is probably less likely because no one is watching them in another context. It will be more difficult. Not impossible, but probably a lot more difficult.”

Krishna, who became chief executive just after the pandemic in April 2020, said people are choosing to work remotely, but it doesn’t have to be “a forever choice, it could be a choice based on convenience or the circumstances”. Remote workers, he said, don’t learn how to do things like deal with a difficult customer or how to compromise when designing a new product. “I don’t understand how to do all of that remotely,” he said.

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