By March 15, 2013 Read More →

The remote working debate continues

Who’s for and against remote working?

Work from Home Wisdom - remote working debateToday’s guest post from Powwownow takes a look at the response of business leaders to Yahoo’s recent announcement on remote working:

The internet is awash with differing opinions about remote working, showing many businesses are divided in their views on the subject. This heated discussion was sparked by a leaked memo by Yahoo informing employees that remote working would be banned from June of this year.

The internal memo said: ‘Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home.’

Despite the advancements in remote working in recent years, Yahoo are not alone in their dislike. Google are also against teleworking, saying that they like the number of employees working away from the office to be ‘as few as possible’.

Chief financial officer of Google Patrick Pichette explained the anti-remote working mind-set, saying: ‘There is something magical about sharing meals. There is something magical about spending the time together, about noodling on ideas, about asking at the computer “What do you think of this?”‘

The remote working fan club
Not all big bosses are dismissing teleworking, with Richard Branson leading the way for those who think remote working should become a part of daily work life. The entrepreneur called the Yahoo memo a ‘backwards step in an age when remote working is easier and more effective than ever.’

International video conference giants Powwownow
also commented upon the memo, saying: 
’To hear a company such as Yahoo is now not allowing its staff to remote work comes across as a backwards (and frankly regressive) move.

‘It seems inconceivable that in this day and age you’d turn your back on new technologies and work practices that have been adopted by your peers.’

The truth about working from home
There is a cultural attitude towards remote working which has been reflected by these comments by Yahoo and Google. Many feel that working from home results in a lazy attitude and a drop in work quality.

Many fear they may be overlooked for promotion and bonuses if they do not show their face around the office, and will work much longer and much harder than is necessary to ‘make up’ for being outside of the office.

However, with 59% of employers now offering remote working, it is likely many will eventually work from home for at least a proportion of their working week.

There are many benefits to telecommuting which make it an effective form of working, and with the advancements in technologies developing rapidly, it has almost made the word ‘remote’ obsolete.
These benefits can include:

  • Improved performance
  • Savings on expenses
  • Improved quality
  • Better life/work balance
  • More environmentally friendly
  • Improved productivity
Posted in: News

4 Comments on "The remote working debate continues"

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  1. Elisa Navarette says:

    When I heard this news I was genuinely shocked to hear that coming from Yahoo. I can see the point of view from anti-remote working peeps but I really think those same goals can be accomplished with some sort of compromise.

    • I think you were one of many, Elisa. I found it very confusing, as you can read in my post Yahoo bans working from home, but I’m sure in time we’ll learn exactly what was behind it. Even more interesting will be the results on morale, productivity, turnover etc, if we ever get to hear about that.

  2. Lee says:

    The yahoo ban as far as I can see is trying to reign things back in a bit so they can keep an eye on things. I just watched on the news of a guy out sourcing his work to a Chinese programmer. Paying him one fifth of his wage and himself living life up while he should of been working. Lee

    • Wow, first time I’ve heard that, but I suppose it was bound to happen with all the jobs sites that now exist! Sounds like that guy should be self-employed. And it all goes back to management – would that have been possible if the team had been in regular contact?

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