I've been working from my home office for 15 years now, and I've never looked back. It's not like I could actually jump in the car and commute to work anyway. My home is in Texas and my office is in Ohio! Sometimes I miss the camaraderie and the impromptu creativity you get from an office environment, but on the other hand, I know how noisy and distracting offices can be. I don't have any data to support this, but I know that my remote working situation has enabled me to be far more productive over the years and has probably saved me a few precious years from the low-stress lifestyle. Now, let's talk about that in light of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's across-the-board denial of work-at-home privileges.
While I agree with Marissa that remote working can lead to abuse and reduced productivity, I don't think that's universally true. It depends on the individual and circumstances. In general, the best arguments for telecommuting stem from:
In addition to making work and life easier for employees that don't fit the everyday office setting, it's often regarded as a perk, a reward for performing well and earning the trust of management. After all, most managers won't allow their teams to work remotely if they don't accomplish their tasks and meet team goals.
There are plenty of situations when you want people together, working together as well, for example:
My point is, there's no one-size-fits-all policy that will (or should) work for all companies, and why couldn't we shoot for a mix of remote and onsite working to optimize results? I certainly respect Marissa Mayer's decision to shut down remote working across the board, but it does seem too extreme for the entire company, in light of the many different scenarios and people that are undoubtedly in play.
Marissa, if you're reading this, feel free to Skype me. I'll be happy to discuss this with you while I'm gazing out the window at my horses and generally feeling relaxed.
Photo credit: pinguino
With over 30 years of business and marketing experience, John loves to blog about ideas and trends that challenge inbound marketers and sales and marketing executives. John has a unique way of blending truth with sarcasm and passion with wit. Connect with John via Twitter, LinkedIn or Google Plus.