Tag Archives: work from home

Should You Let Employees Work From Home?

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No More Working in Pajamas at Yahoo

Internet giant Yahoo is rescinding work from home. Should your firm?

Marissa Mayer, in a move to put her stamp on the culture, has abolished Yahoo’s work-at-home policy and ordered everyone back to the office. Yahoo is taking pains to distance themselves from broader national debate over workplace flexibility, and the move is seen as a way for Yahoo to fix its culture. Insiders have given a bleak picture, showing a company with a deteriorating work ethic, and work-at-home employees launching start-ups while working on company time.

Her argument for the shift? Face-to-face interaction among employees fosters a more collaborative culture.

It’s true that serendiptious meetings in the corridors can lead to new ideas, and casual conversations at the water cooler don’t always revolve around the latest Downton Abbey, but can be an informal informaiton exchange of work-related knowledge. Studies have shown that people working from home are more productive, but less innovative.

And not every position – or person – is suited to work from home.

But are these reasons to eliminate a remote working policy entirely, or mere growing pains as the national work culture shifts to a more flexible work style? Working from home may lower innovation, but only if you don’t have strategies in place to encourage innovation. The organization itself needs to ensure that remote workers don’t become isolated silos, just producing expected results. Regular meetings, interactions with other colleagues and structuring a way to share ideas across workers – both remote and in the office – can go a long way to overcoming the lack of innovation associated with working remotely. A social intranet may solve many of these challenges, especially with younger workers raised with social media.

Readers, where do you stand on a work from home policy?

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What’s Your Telecommuting Policy?

Telecommuting is a top desire for many employees, and a new recent survey reported by Live Science shows just how much employees want to work from home. According to the results of the survey, conducted by TeamViewer, five percent of employees surveyed indicated that they would even be willing to give up their spouse if they were allowed to telecommute.

The Desire to Telecommute

In addition to the five percent of employees who said they’d divorce if doing so allowed them to work from home, there were also a number of other things that many people would be willing to give up if it meant that they could work in their pajamas. For example:

  • 29 percent of survey respondents said they would give up chocolate
  • 25 percent said they would relinquish their smartphones
  • 20 percent volunteered to forego shopping.
  • 34 percent would go cold-turkey on all social media
  • 30 percent reported they’d give up texting

Are You Offering Telecommuting?

With so many employees willing to give up so much just to work from home, it is clear that offering the opportunity to telecommute can be a big boon to attracting and keeping workers. Telecommuting may also help to increase employee productivity and reduce the costs of office space.

Of course, there are downsides to telecommuting as well. For one thing, it is not possible in all businesses. Ensuring accountability of employees is also more challenging and unless you allow everyone to telecommute, it can foster jealousy and resentment to provide the benefit only to some.

Still,  as the recent survey reaffirms, if you have the opportunity to explore telecommuting for your business, it may be worth looking into.

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Telework Plans Can Help Your Company Stay Afloat in the Face of Disaster

Telework has garnered a lot of attention lately for many reasons. Some companies are using telework as a form of accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act and others are using it as an incentive to attract or keep good employees during tough economic times when raises are scarce. While these are all great reasons to embrace telework, one of the most important reasons for having a telework plan in place may be to help your company stay open in the face of disaster. 

Telework and Disaster Preparedness
Telework involves allowing employees to work from home instead of coming into the office. As technology has become more prevalent and affordable and given people new ways to connect, it has become a more realistic option for many employers. In fact, in 2010, President Obama signed the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010which provided a framework that companies could use to leverage technology to recruit talented individuals to work in the federal government.

The Act was also designed to allow government agencies to continue to operate in the face of various disasters and problems. Of course, this can include serious disasters such as security threats. But it can also include more run-of-the-mill problems such as inclement weather. 

Your Business and Telework
Government agencies aren’t the only ones that want to continue operating in the face of minor disasters and major weather problems. Many companies also want to stay open, especially if your business does business on a national or multi-national level and may have customers and clients that expect you to be there even when your town is shut down because of a blizzard or tornado or flood.

By having a plan in place that allows employees to work from home- either some of the time on a regular basis or just in an emergency situation- you can help make sure your business is a little more disaster-proof as you head into this next winter season.  

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