Bhavin Turakhia said that Zeta was among the first companies to move to remote work when the pandemic started spreading
When people come together, companies have accelerated learning and faster innovation cycles, the CEO said
As thousands of companies continue to work remotely amid a dwindling pandemic, the debate over remote work has intensified again
At a time when the work culture has gone through a paradigm shift, Zeta’s founder Bhavin Turakhia thinks people aren’t meant to work remotely, especially in the fintech sector.
Speaking at the third edition of Inc42’s The Makers Summit, Turakhia said, “I don’t think that people world over were meant to work in a remote fashion. Certainly not in this industry [fintech] and definitely not in building enterprise software.”
The Zeta founder did put an asterisk by saying that the fintech unicorn was among the first companies to move to remote work when the pandemic started spreading.
“Zeta was very safe and was one of the first companies to start remote work and continue it till the end when safety was no longer an issue,” Turakhia said.
Turakhia’s comments have come at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has almost become a thing of the past, with just 7,605 active cases in India as of March 23.
As thousands of companies continue to work remotely in the ‘new normal’, Turakhia said there were certain aspects of working from the office that remote work can’t emulate.
Why Work From Office?
For Bhavin, the topic carries much more emotional attachment than it would seem, as the Zeta cofounder believes that employees can’t build relationships working from home. He said that people can’t even ask each other for help while working remotely.
Be that as it may, there are bigger implications for companies than employees forming relationships among themselves.
“I strongly believe that when people come together, you have accelerated learning, faster innovation cycles, quicker percolation of culture, quicker decision making, higher productivity, quicker incident resolution,” Turakhia said, defending his stance on working from the office.
The Zeta CEO added that companies that only do remote work have slower disruptive innovation, also called zero-to-one innovation. He described the whole innovation process in three steps – discovery, retrospection and the actual work.
According to Turakhia, the first two steps are highly collaborative and an employee needs to be isolated only during the actual work.
Interestingly, a Stanford research paper from 2018 reads that employees working remotely showed a productivity boost equivalent to an additional day’s work, along with taking fewer leaves and a 50% reduction in attrition.
Turakhia’s arguments aren’t against productivity but in favour of the relationships that are made working with peers in a shared space like an office.
The bonus is that the turnaround time for innovation reduces significantly, allowing companies to create disruptive innovation.