IBM’s CEO, Arvind Krishna, says employees’ careers could suffer if they work from home.
Krishna told Bloomberg during a Monday interview that although he wasn’t forcing his own staffers back to the office, he thought remote workers may struggle to get promotions.
Tech industry leaders appear to be less enthusiastic about remote working than they once were, but switching tack could backfire and risk infuriating workers, as Insider’s Hasan Chowdhury reported.
Krishna told Bloomberg in the Monday interview: “In the short term you probably can be equally productive, but your career does suffer. Moving from there to another role is probably less likely because nobody’s observing them in another context,” he said. “It will be tougher. Not impossible, but probably a lot tougher.”
He added that remote workers don’t learn skills normally acquired in person, such as dealing with difficult clients, Bloomberg reported.
Krishna has been IBM’s CEO since 2020 and has encouraged workers to return to the office for three days a week. Nickle LaMoreaux, IBM’s HR chief, told Insider in 2021 that most employees would return to the office part-time after the pandemic.
Most of IBM’s workers are co-located near one of the company’s offices or clients and often collaborate in person, the company said.
Krishna’s comments follow IBM’s recent announcement that it planned to slow or suspend hiring for back-office roles that AI could replace. A spokesperson previously told Insider that there was no blanket hiring “pause” and the company was being deliberate and thoughtful in its hiring.
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