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This week, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna sent the company’s 260,000 employees a message: remote work can hurt your career. Big Blue’s chief executive warns employees that working from home can hurt their chances for advancement.

The exec conveyed his warning during an interview with Bloomberg News. “Being a people manager when you’re remote is just tough because if you’re managing people, you need to be able to see them once in a while”, he said during the interview in New York this week. “It doesn’t need to be every minute. You don’t need to function under those old ‘Everybody’s under my eye’ kind of rules, but at least sometimes”.

The position is ironic, given that IBM’s hybrid-cloud computing business has directly profited from the rise of remote work. Krishna, however, is insistent. While he’s not yet requiring staffers to come into the office, he maintains that those who don’t will find it challenging to get promoted, especially into those aforementioned managerial roles.

The debate is growing over remote work

Bloomberg notes that Krishna’s comments add to the growing debate over the merits of remote versus in-person work. Indeed, some CEOs say that younger or less experienced workers especially need to be on site for learning and mentorship purposes. Other experts, however, point to research showing that workers are happier and even more productive when working from home.

According to data from economists who track work-from-home trends, Bloomberg asserts that office-based staff spend 25% more time in career-development activities than their remote counterparts.

“It seems to me that we work better when we are together in person”, Krishna told Bloomberg. He went on to describe IBM’s return-to-office policy as “we encourage you to come in, we expect you to come in, we want you to come in”. He added that managers in the company recommend three days a week in the office.

Krishna, however, was adamant: remote workers don’t learn how to do things like deal with a difficult client, or how to make trade-offs when designing a new product.

“I don’t understand how to do all that remotely,” he said.