I agree with pretty much all of this apart from that you still seem to be advocating a 12 hour dev day or rather “if you really love this you will give minimum 12 hour days”. You did write that companies should respect people whether they are morning people or night owls but you then only give examples of people who start late and finish late. You wrote that the person who does 9am to 7pm could be a bad actor, but then a good actor will do 10am to 10pm. You might also have a good actor who does 9am to 7pm who gets more or the same done as the one who puts in 12 hours. The fastest and most productive developer I’ve ever worked with did 8:30am to 5:30pm on the dot every day and they got a lot more done than those sitting there for 12 hours.
This debate can often fall into the trap of who is the better stereotype. The stereotype of the bad actor is that they turn up only during working hours and don’t get much done. The stereotype of the “10x developer” or whatever BS label you want to give it is that they start late and work into the night. As you wrote, some people are morning people others night owls but in my experience there is a culture in startups that you must work into the night and still be going at 2–3am to prove you are a good developer. This isn’t any different than macho bankers who do the same. Whatever happened to programmers being rebellious — now at startups they think they’re different but they’ve been sucked into gruelling work hours that the media has sold to everyone (Wolf of Wall St being the extreme depiction of that).
As usual in life, the people who get a lot done and are smart about it sit somewhere in between and don’t tend to vocalise this. Some of us are most productive when well rested. I find I can get a lot more done if my day is focused rather than trying to work 12–16 hour days (and I’ve done plenty of these), where I get into the rhythm of staying up late, tired the next morning so take longer to get going and therefore have to work late again. It might be because I’m a morning person.
And be aware that bums in seats doesn’t go away just by working remotely, the culture just shifts to slack status online meaning you still get those who will sit in front of their computer just to enforce a culture of long hours.