Does remote work, work is one of those questions that every CEO is asking currently.
So let's offer up four opinions from four very credible sources being ChatGPT, Google Search, Colin Iles 😉 and Rick Hammell (Founder and CEO of Atlas).
So let's start with ChatGPT.
I asked it "does remote work work".
And it returned...
But an answer that manages to say nothing more than remote work might work, but there are limitations.
The ultimate fence sitter. 🤷
Hardly an answer that will encourage CEOs to fully adopt remote.
To be fair, ChatGPT is limited in its answers because of;
1. Contextual Limitations: ChatGPT is trained on a large dataset but still struggles to understand the context of a conversation, and sometimes generates irrelevant or nonsensical responses.
2. Bias: ChatGPT is trained on internet text which may contain biases and stereotypes, leading to biased and insensitive outputs.
3. Data Quality: The training data for ChatGPT is obtained from the internet, which can be of varying quality and accuracy. This can result in errors and misinformation in the generated responses.
4. Limited Creativity: ChatGPT can only generate responses based on the patterns it has seen during training and lacks the ability to come up with truly creative and original ideas.
5. Limited Technical Understanding: ChatGPT has been trained on a wide range of topics but may struggle to provide in-depth technical explanations or answer highly specialized questions.
So what about a good old google search?
Well, the answer obviously isn't provided by Google, but at least they provide 2.3 billion sites which I can research for an answer. 👀
And as I, like everyone else, suffer from vast amounts of confirmation bias, it gives me all the links I could ever need to argue that remote work does indeed work.
According to remoteyear.com, for example, remote work is amazing because of the flexible lifestyle, better health outcomes, improved productivity and obvious cost savings.
And the evidence is all there in surveys which should be trusted completely as they were prepared by prestigious organisations and published in scholarly articles by trusted media outlets like Forbes 😉.
So with just two clicks in google, I've proved that remote work is the panacea to solve all workforce ills.
(As long as you trust the independence and accuracy of surveys from 2014, which are published on sites promoting remote work).
Well, having experience working remotely in pools🙈 obviously gives me a unique perspective.
More important perhaps are the insights I've gained from regular interactions with CEOs.
Insights which are not available on ChatGPT or Google, at least until telepathy becomes thing.
And it's very clear to me that the answer is we just don't know.
And I don't think anyone really knows because it's way too soon to have any real evidence about whether remote work offers a strategic advantage.
All we have at this point are opinions. Not facts.
And in my opinion, it's going to be many years before economists and researchers have enough data to make any firm conclusions.
What I do know, however, is that every CEO does have an obligation to explore remote work, and for most, that will mean running some degree of experimentation.
After all, there is no copy-and-paste approach to going remote, at least not yet.
Therefore the decision basis for a multinational manufacturer is going to be radically different to that, say, of a fintech startup.
Which means that, ultimately, the decision path for every organisation will have to be nuanced.
And much will depend on whether the decision is reversible.
If trying remote offers the potential of big gains, can be tested with limited downside and ultimately is reversible, then there is a strong argument to trying remote work.
If the picture is murkier, well maybe it's best to watch, wait and see.
Now, finally, what does Rick Hammell think?
And why should we care?
Well, unlike me, Rick actually runs a multi-billion-dollar company, which employs a fully remote workforce who, in turn, service millions of remote, hybrid and office-based employees in over 150 countries.
His "experiences" has most definitely not been made available to ChatGpt, Google or me.
Or, more accurately, until 16th Feb 2023, when I'll be asking him online whether he thinks remote work works and why.
Expect a rapid-fire session of Q&A, as with only 30 min, there is a lot to get through.
I'm certain the session is going to be more insightful than anything you've read in this blog.
So click here to join.