Elon Musk may be right about ending remote work

And what questions to ask while interviewing for a remote role

Sai Ramachandran
6 min readNov 15, 2022


Photo by Matteo Vistocco on Unsplash

Why listen to me?

Earlier this year, right before the economy was starting to turn sour and soon after Russia invaded Ukraine, a friend of mine interviewed with and joined a CPaaS company — think Twilio but in South Asia.

CPaaS stands for Communications Platform-as-a-Service.

She had been aware of this company for a few years by the time she interviewed with them and according to her, the interview process went swimmingly, with nary a red flag.

And in her naivety, she was not even looking for red flags — I mean, what red flags could there be? For one, it was a software company and she was a software ninja (self-proclaimed).

Secondly, this company had been remote-only since the start of the pandemic and planned to be that way for the foreseeable future which meant that she expected processes and programs to be in place to make remote collaboration easier.

Well, the lede of the story is that yesterday was her last day at said company — a tenure of about 9 months.

It just wasn’t working out and for that, I’d hold the company’s unplanned transition to remote work responsible.

What happened?

The pandemic and the consequent switch to remote work.

You see, this company has been around for about a decade.

In that time, long term employees have built deep working relationships with each other. Additionally, very little is documented with information/knowledge stashed away inside people’s heads and in meeting recordings without transcripts.

Both these issues were left to fester in the company and consequently made it harder for a newcomer to hit the ground running.

To be fair, skews between the system document and the underlying system is a near certainty so I don’t blame developers for not wanting to spend inordinate amounts of time on documenting a system which will anyway change a few sprints down the line.

On Personal Relationships



Sai Ramachandran

Building https://squadgpt.ai - GPT for teams. Manage AI costs and retain visibility with SquadGPT. All views personal. Email = sai@squadgpt.ai