To the end of 2022, a number of entrepreneurs — some quoting Elon Musk — told me they planned to bring back personal work culture in the next year to foster 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 a personal mandate weren’t really mission-driven to begin with.
While some founders are clearly set for a comeback, others are confused. There’s the argument—sometimes coming from venture capitalists desperate for portfolio companies to succeed—that being personal will help increase productivity and ultimately profits. And there’s also the counter argument that remote work makes for more inclusive and comprehensive recruiting, 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 could be. Kruze Consulting, an accounting firm for startups, has sifted through the finances of more than 750 companies, including more than $300 million in quarterly revenue and more than $750 million in quarterly expenses. I spoke with Healy Jones, who conducts financial planning and analysis for Kruze, about his findings. The results, he thinks, provide some balance to the debate.