top of page
  • Writer's pictureDavid Manion

Why Bosses Like OpenAI CEO Sam Altman Hate Remote Work WhileWorkers Love It

CEOs and their workers are not always on the same page, but one issue that exemplifies the divide especially clearly is remote work. Bosses like Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, generally dislike remote work and many are pushing for their companies to return to their ‘normal’ in-office routine.

Altman is one of the biggest critics of remote work in tech. At a fireside chat put together by Stripe he said that he thinks “definitely one of the tech industry’s worst mistakes in a long time was that everybody could go full remote forever, and startups didn’t need to be together in person and, you know, there was going to be no loss of creativity.”

Most of the benefits of having workers all together in an office are obvious. It’s generally easier to control employees that are physically close. You can meet with them easier and faster, especially in larger groups.

There are also issues with cooperation between employees in general. Having employees work together in the same office can encourage collaboration.

Some managers are worried about employees ‘slacking off’ on the job because their activities are much harder to track when they work remotely. However, there are plenty of tools available to companies that can help keep employees accountable and on-track.

Finally, many companies are already paying for a large office that can accommodate their workers. They think that because they are paying for it already, that its workers should make use of it.

The Worker’s Perspective

There are 2 sides to every story and remote work is no exception. A global survey of 28,000 workers in 2022 found that 79% of employees thought that remote work improved their work-life balance. The same study showed that more than 80% of these workers said that remote work made them happier.

This was far from the only study supporting the widespread popularity of remote work. A Gallup poll found that a miniscule 6% of Americans would rather work in an office full-time.

Another 2022 global study of 12,500 workers by Tracking Happiness found that those working in offices full time rated their happiness the lowest, at 5.9 out of 10. Fully remote workers rated their happiness as a 7 out of 10.

If remote work can increase happiness by more than 10%, it may be one of the greatest developments of the 21st century. However, the impact of remote work on the economy is not yet fully understood, and if the pessimistic bosses are correct, it could have significant negative consequences.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.


bottom of page