The whole notion of working from home (a.k.a. telecommuting), can polarise opinion. Some people say that they need the routine of going to work, and once there, the interactions with colleagues, to be creative and productive. Others are insistent about the benefits of being able to concentrate and to not be distracted, or dragged into constant meetings.
In a post from a while back (Advances in technology and connectivity mean more people are workin...), Jo Gibson (education consultant) is interviewed and identifies some of the drawbacks as always feeling 'at work', working too many hours, and having to be disciplined about making time for family. But on the upside she reports that she has "far more quality time with my online partners and colleagues via Skype and web conferencing and collaborative docs (documents on the web) and social community spaces than I’ve ever had in the face-to-face workplace". She also mentions professional development: "What you can pick up from others via mere snippets of information can be as much as you’d learn going to a conference, and a whole lot cheaper too".
So - the head of Yahoo (CEO Marissa Mayer),has just announced that the company is rescinding its telecommuting policy, because “We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together,” (source: Yahoo internal memo).
The decision has caused a lot of discussion, and not only by employees of Yahoo. The head of Virgin, Richard Branson described it as a backward step, and explained that "If you provide the right technology to keep in touch, maintain regular communication and get the right balance between remote and office working, people will be motivated to work responsibly, quickly and with high quality" (source).
As someone who works from home most of the time (although I do travel for face-to-face meetings about once a fortnight), I wouldn't have it any other way. I thrive on the freedom and the ability to choose how I structure my day. I can get deep into my work, and if I need someone to bounce some ideas around with, I hop onto Skype or a Google hangout. This blended approach to work works extremely well for me. What are your thoughts? Do you work from home? Would you like the option of blended working?
Image: 'My Desktop' http://www.flickr.com/photos/94621122@N00/5071654061. Found on flickrcc.net
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