Suzy Welch: Why working from home can be terrible for your career

PUBLISHED: Tue, 02 Jul 2019 16:53:42 GMT

The flexibility to work remotely is a perk many workers dream of having.

But according to bestselling management author and CNBC contributor Suzy Welch, working from the comfort of your home or coffee shop can easily become “a career killer.”

“I understand that as an employee, sometimes remote work is the only way work is possible,” Welch tells CNBC Make It. “And I understand as a boss, sometimes remote work is the only way to get the person you need.”

However, she says, though working remotely has a few “very real upsides,” it has serious drawbacks as well.

“Here’s the truth,” says Welch. “The best work in an organization, the important work, it never gets done on the phone, or over email or on Slack.”

Instead, she says, “it is almost always facilitated by relationships and understandings that only happen when people are together physically.” Great teams are built on “the banter, the lunches, the late nights, the jokes, the asides, the shared ah-has!”

That type of bonding, she says, “builds layers of trust, and trust is a career’s rocket fuel. You can fly without it, but you can’t soar.”

Welch emphasizes that if you’re content with where your career is now, or you’re not interested in a leadership role, working remotely may be a perfectly acceptable option for you. “You can contribute working remotely,” she says. “You can even get promoted.”

But, if you want to move up the ranks and become a leader in your organization, “you need to be in the building.”

“Leadership is an inside job,” says Welch, “and it starts in the room where trust happens.”

Suzy Welch is the co-founder of the Jack Welch Management Instituteand a noted business journalist, TV commentator and public speaker. Think you need Suzy to fix your career? Email her at

This article first appeared on CNBC and is republished with its permission.

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