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Monday, March 4, 2013

Does Working from Home make Sense? Teleworkers Unite

Does Working from Home make Sense? Teleworkers Unite

Marissa Meyer created a rats nest with her mandate to work at a Yahoo office or quit. Now she has to turn the struggling Yahoo organization around and be more relevant and of value so I can understand her game plan. I can also understand how she built a nursery beside her C Suite office so the nanny can look after her baby while she works.

Does it make sense?

That depends a lot on the culture and trust of the organization and management as well as the employee behavior.

Employees can be productive wherever they are, on whatever device they have, and at any time especially if they have the telecom tools in place to do so. My past employer cleared 3 downtown skyscraper floors with immediate real estate cost savings and still maintained the productivity levels required. My current employer sells telecom tools that allow a highly mobile workforce and the culture and employee behaviorism supports it. IP Telephony really brings the collaboration of voice, data and video to a global workforce and increases productivity and provides cost savings.Maybe Yahoo doesn't have the telecom tools it needs to be effective in Teleworking and supporting a mobile workforce.

The main criteria is that not every employee can be a teleworker. The mobile worker is typically suited to sales, marketing, field staff and product managers. Mobility isn't suited for receptionists,  customer facing support staff and technical resources.

Employers fear that employees that are never in the office lose the live collaboration needed and their work possibly cant be measured. Teleworkers should be in the office on weekly basis or more frequently if in-person collaboration is needed for a specific project.

Teleworking offers advantages and disadvantages and employees and management should discuss further to see what makes the most sense for all involved. This ensures a happy employee = a happy manager.

Advantages to Teleworking or a Mobile Worker

Employee Benefits:
-Improved work life balance
-Less commute time and stress
-Lower Transportation and Parking costs

Employer Benefits:
-Happier employees and reduced turnover
-Lower office related costs
-Increased productivity

Disadvantages to Teleworking or a Mobile Worker

Employee Impact:
-Social isolation from the workplace
-Greater distractions related to family and personal life

Employer Impact:
-Less spontaneous and creative collaboration between staff
-Loss of control to closely monitor staff
-Loss of productivity

Maybe Google has the right idea offering free meals and other perks to employees at the Googleplex.  HR has found that if an employee can get their lunch quickly in house then they won't spend their lunch break driving to a restaurant and being away from their desk for a longer time. Maybe the suggestion box has been given the idea  that it would be awesome if they can deliver sushi rolls to teleworkers. That would be the best of both from home and  have sushi catered daily.

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