According to OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, one of the tech industry's biggest missteps was the assumption that everyone could work remotely on a permanent basis.
Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, has recently stated that the remote work "experiment" was a mistake and that "it's over."
As reported by Fortune, speaking at a session organized by fintech company Stripe, Altman expressed his belief that remote work models can create confusion and hinder the creation of new products compared to in-person work. He emphasized that while remote work has become more prevalent, companies still lack the necessary technology for it to be a viable option for all employees.
"I think definitely one of tech industry's worst mistakes in a long time was that everybody (thought they) could go full remote forever, and startups didn't need to be together. There was going to be no loss of creativity," he said. "I would say that the experiment on that is over, and the technology is not yet good enough that people can be full remote forever, particularly on startups."
Altman highlighted the significance of working in an office setting for startups by noting that when a product is in its early stages and there is still a lot of uncertainty, a team can benefit from spending more time together in person to collaborate and generate ideas.
"The more unclear and early the product is, the more in-person time the team needs to grind together," he stated.
This is not the first time when Altman has expressed his preference for working in a physical office environment. In a tweet posted earlier this year, he criticized tech companies that embraced permanent remote work policies, calling it "a big mistake" that is beginning to show its cracks.
However, Altman also acknowledged that OpenAI has some of its best talent working remotely and encouraged potential job applicants not to let their location deter them from applying.