HE SAID WHAT?!
Posted By Ravi
Once in a while working from home is okay, but not on a regular basis. If I were a business owner or manager, I would be against my employees telecommuting daily. Why? Because over a period of time employees may try to exploit the situation. Either they will end up playing games 24/7 or start taking side jobs on the clock. There will be lots of distractions while working at home, such as watching TV, children, or running errands in the middle of the day. Obviously their productivity will go down because they don’t have time to give 100 percent to the job. More importantly, there will not be any checks and balances.
For example, IBM has a no office space policy, meaning most of their employees telecommute. If I were offered a telecommute job at any company, I would not take it, primary because I would miss the office culture. When you telecommute you don’t get to see people, you have no social interactions, and no matter how well you do your job, your manager will always question your true effort.
When you are forced to work in an office environment there are many advantages, such as exchanging knowledge and sharing ideas, not to mention it can help you go up the ladder in the organization. When you are not physically present at work, you are easy to forget about. The “out of sight, out of mind” theory applies here. If layoffs happens, telecommute employees are normally the first ones to go. Think about it. If you are in management, do you really want to give a promotion to an employee who always telecommutes and may struggle to keep track or lose control of his subordinates?
Some people can handle telecommuting while others can’t. As a business owner, I would fear that the employees who telecommute are lazy and don’t have much vision, ambition, or control in their life. And if it were me, at the end of the day, I wouldn’t want to listen to my kid asking me why I always stays home. And I wouldn’t want to hear my wife saying, “Honey, can you pickup the dry cleaning, since you are working from home?” No way.
SHE SAID WHAT?!
Posted By Wendy
I’ve been both a full-time work-from-home freelancer and a full-time office worker in my adult life. There are pros and cons to both. Working from home allows for freedom, flexibility, and family, but it can be lonely. Working in the office fosters community and teamwork, but it can be constricting and, sometimes, downright unhealthy. But when you break it down, I think it’s 100 percent possible to not only be productive working from home, but also to lead a balanced, happy life.
Will there be employees who take advantage of the work-from-home scenario and slack off? You betcha. When I first started freelancing, it took a little while to figure out how to self-discipline and set up a sensible work schedule. But any valuable employee will do more than his or her part to contribute. In fact, because of the stereotype of the “slacker” telecommuter, many of those who work at home in their PJs put in far more effort, for fear their privileges will be taken away from them.
A work-from-home employee may stop in the middle of the day to pick up some dry cleaning or drop off the kids at soccer practice. But he can also work through the 45 minutes to 1 hour that many people spend commuting in their cars. A telecommuter might pause to watch a couple episodes of Judge Judy, but that’s no different from the employee in the office who takes an hour lunch. And if you can show me the office worker who spends all 8 hours every day being 100 percent productive, I’d like to show you this picture of the real-live Lochness Monster in the flesh:
When Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo!, announced that she would be requiring all of her employees to work out of the office full-time, she had a lot of people questioning her seemingly backwards-moving philosophy. After all, isn’t telecommuting the wave of the future? As technology enables more people to work from home, telecommuting has become much more commonplace. But Mayer’s decision disappointed me on a deeper level than that. An office that mandates all of its employees work in the office all the time has basically told its workforce that it doesn’t trust them. And that would piss me right off.
And here’s the thing: a pissed-off, disgruntled worker is not a productive worker. A pissed-off, disgruntled worker is spending time on the job looking for other jobs and freshening up her resume. She’s lingering in the kitchen bitching to coworkers and spending too much time surfing on the net. Whereas a happy worker—she’s willing to put in the extra time and effort because she knows she’s valued as an employee.
So yeah, maybe as management you’d like to have your employees around all the time to keep a close watch on them. But as an employee, you know when you’re being watched. And you’re usually not willing to stick around very long to see if you’ll disappoint.