(From Fortune Magazine)- Remote work is “a bunch of bullsh**,” according to Sam Zell, the outspoken real estate magnate known for his colorful language.“One of the biggest lies in the world is that people working from home are more productive than people working in the office,” the billionaire founder and chairman of Equity Group Investments told a New York University luncheon. “You have much less productivity if you’re working from home in your pajamas with three little kids running around than if you’re in an office…”

Many remote workers, however, would beg to differ with Zell about working from home. In a Pew Research survey published last month, 56% of respondents said working from home helps them get work done and meet deadlines, while 37% said it neither helps nor hurts… What do you think? Did you feel more productive working from home or do you do better in a structured environment? As a business owner, did you see your employees more productive or less? Let’s talk about it.

Beverly Brooks: “JP Morgan Chase, Reddit, Twitter, Yahoo, StatusPage, USAA, Best Buy, and even my own experience within Allstate- they’re all saying the same thing: Over all, it’s more ineffective than it is beneficial. There’s less innovation, less human interaction which leads to over all less accountability, less (or fake) employee engagement, and the list goes on. I’m speaking about the overall big picture, certainly there are and always have been certain positions and entire industries that can thrive on this- say like yours, journalism. But I’m referring to those that have transformed from a corporate or office-like environment into a remote style, in many cases they’re transforming right back. Speaking personally, I make a living on connecting with people, not just with my clients but also with my staff. Reading body language, walking the floors, scoping morale, watching for buying signs or “buy-in” signs, so much of that can be lost if it’s not done face-to-face. I also don’t believe multi-tasking is effective the way people make it out to be. So being at home and watching kids, doing laundry, making dinner or lunch and still juggling a full 40+ hour work week all at the same time– something gives. I think the case could be made for businesses that start off that way. USAA, ERCOT, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo are just a few places here locally that still have their real estate and have now transitioned some of the workforce back, even if just a few times a week. That expenditure never went away. But I would agree that the cost-effective notion probably worked for those that closed their doors for good or as I said, began that way. I would add that I try to remain open-minded about it. I don’t believe it’s a one-size-fits-all solution. I think it varies widely by not only what you do, but more importantly by the quality of staff you have doing it- either in the office or at home, for that matter. I can definitely see both sides, and as a business owner I’d certainly always be looking to cut costs, just not to the degree of risking my business integrity for it. There’s a lot of variables that come into play, this just isn’t something that I’ve seen work enough times to convince me it’s not for me (personally).”

Henry Shamdas: “It’s more cost effective. Less utilities, real estate space and maintenance for large buildings, less commute time and spending resources to get to work. Most people call in less and some stay working longer as they are already home. A real estate person wouldn’t know as his very business depends on meeting people and commuting. I’ve mostly worked from home and can say I rarely call in. I do know that the company has saved on taxes, building costs, maintenance and also been very productive. I cannot see any cost effective advantage with any business that isn’t in direct contact with people. The field folks yes they have to but even those teams are out in the field then home. Now those tethered to a phone, OK these I can see not being as productive because they cannot work at a certain pace. However, for those doing other projects, remote work seems to me to save lots of money.”

Veronica Amaro: “I’ve worked remotely (corporate and as an entrepreneur) for over 15 years. Most people that want to make things happen will do it independently. For those that need to be handheld and like mediocrity, being micromanaged in an office is probably best for the corporation. I think people should have a choice. Their productivity and quality of work should determine their worth.”

Tim Morse:”I guess we need to define what value is; freedom, liberty, self reliance, independence?”

Cheron Bowser: “I’ve worked totally remote since 3/20/20 and as an introvert with extreme PTSD with anxiety. I LOVE it! No longer having to work in “cubicle land” and having complete control over my work environment increased my production almost 3 times. I was granted permission to remain remote and I couldn’t be happier.”

Per Högström: ”I would say it depends on personality and what it is that you do. I work almost entirely from home and it works just fine. Some of my colleagues found it horrible not being able to work in the office. Clearly, it also matters if you live alone or if you have a partner and if you have or don’t have kids. And how much space there is in your home.”

Ramon Chapa Jr.: “With me, work from home, or work from an office, don’t matter. I am the very best at what I do. The blessings follow me! When I show up, the blessings show up. When I leave, the blessings leave! When you’re good, you’re good!”

Lisa Palmisano: “The value of working from home is very situational. Many years ago, my husband worked remotely because his job involved developing training programs for various organizations. He would work on the training programs from home and then travel to do the actual training. He almost never went to the physical location of his employer’s company because it wasn’t necessary. In my case, it makes the most sense for me to be in the office most of the time, but I am able to be as productive from home whenever it is necessary. I am an extreme introvert, and am always happiest when I have an office or space of my own so that I can close the door and recharge when necessary, so working from home is never a hardship for me. When the world went on lockdown, my mom worried that I would be very isolated, as I live alone with just my dog. I told her, ‘I’ve been training for this my whole life. I’ll be fine!’ and I was.”

Linda Wolf AkaRamsay: “I’d say for a lot of people it’s not a good thing. I have extremely strong feelings about not working from home and how it doesn’t work for most people.”

Kathryn Tanner: “Interesting topic, even though I’m too old to work (yay!) and it doesn’t affect me personally. It seems like it would have to be a good thing for working people to have more options about the work environment they do best in.”

Sara Buller: “It doesn’t work for everyone, but when I was seriously ill, it was a blessing to still be useful and valued and trusted. ALL of my job involved working with people all over the country and some overseas, so WHERE I was really didn’t matter to my availability or productivity.”

Debra Stephens: “I’ve been working from home going on nine years. I love it.”