I’ll Be Working From Home Today
Or not. But I did edit some specifications at home last night. After predictions that we’ll all be telecommuting one day, a Yahoo executive has people talking about not working from home. So we’ll probably need those flying cars after all.
Rachel at the Wall Street Journal blogged, At Yahoo, Working from Home Doesn’t Work, but didn’t say if she wrote her piece at home watching HGTV or in a cubicle at work:
Yahoo is hardly the first firm to clamp down on remote working – late last year Bank of America was said to have restricted its flexible-work program by asking staff to come into the office more often, a move that it said would help boost collaboration.
In an editorial, Location, Location, Location, the NY Times weighed pros and cons:
Those at home were noticeably more productive, spending 9 percent more time on calls and handling 4 percent more calls per minute. Workers were sick less often, reported being happier and quit less frequently. … [but] The Stanford study found that the rate at which home-based workers were promoted dropped by 50 percent, seeming to confirm the cliché “out of sight, out of mind.” … Another negative effect — hard to measure but an article of faith among entrepreneurs and some executives — is the missed serendipitous encounters between employees at the office that lead to new products or strategies.
I’ve worked from home – but for myself. I kept scrupulous record of every minute I was and wasn’t working. I drove to meet with my client once a week. I loved it, and my wife loved it, but we had no health insurance, so it couldn’t last. I do appreciate collaboration, and serendipitous encounters, but I also appreciate concentrating on a task without background distractions. If I had a choice, I’d be working at home three days a week.
In, Working from home alone is the real culprit, Fortune thinks we’re wired to work alongside others:
It may seem strange that although Zappos uses technology to scale, we still rely so much on face-to-face interactions. It’s because our biology has evolved far, far slower than our technology. We are a social species, designed for in-person interactions in multiple locations, not just by email and phone calls or remotely from home, and also not just in conference rooms. We are designed to be in motion, and we are designed to be creative, to share ideas, and to innovate in multiple locations throughout the day. Getting to know people in different environments and contexts leads to higher levels of trust, better communication, and can ultimately contribute to a stronger and more innovative culture.
In, The Truth About Working From Home, several women execs think there must be a balance, and that Yahoo had drifted too far towards independence:
To harness the talent and creativity of this generation requires a hard-to-balance combination of imposed discipline and the creation of something they want to be a part of, Ms. Lord said. “I think actually that’s really what Marissa Mayer is trying to do,” she added, referring to the chief executive of Yahoo, which recently said it would require employees to work in-house. “It sounds like no one at Yahoo ever wanted to darken the doors of that place.” Which is why, she continued, Ms. Mayer “took the draconian route, and I don’t think I blame her for that.”
“Really shaking it up,” Ms. Mayzler said.
“She had to shake it up,” Ms. Lord said. “And then maybe she’ll create a culture that everyone’s really excited about — then she can give that flexibility back.”
Oh, and I wrote this at home, in bed, watching Castle on demand.