Toward the end of 2022, a number of entrepreneurs — some citing Elon Musk — told me they planned to bring back in-person work culture in the following year to help promote productivity and, in some cases, loyalty. One founder even told me over drinks that they weren’t worried about losing talent — claiming that those who leave just because there’s an in-person mandate weren’t truly mission-driven to begin with.
While some founders are clearly set on a return, others are confused. There’s the argument — sometimes coming from venture capitalists desperate to see portfolio companies succeed — that being in-person will help grow productivity and, eventually, the bottom line. And there’s also the counterargument that remote work allows for more inclusive and expansive hiring, which could also help, well, the bottom line.
And if 2023 isn’t the year for the bottom line, I don’t know what else it could be. Kruze Consulting, an accounting firm for startups, mined through over 750 companies’ finances — which includes upward of $300 million in quarterly revenue and over $750 million in quarterly spend. I spoke to Healy Jones, who runs financial planning and analysis for Kruze, about his findings. The results, he thinks, offer some balance to the debate.