Totally buying the conspiracy theory (can’t find link?!) that the Yahoo! memo was leaked on purpose – to get people talking about Yahoo!. Ahem.
The so-called “Cons” of working at home
Sparked by the Yahoo! memo this USA Today article debates the pros and cons of telecommuting; it barely scratches the surface or realizes it’s not 1998. The pros are simplistic and obvious but whatever; it’s the idiotic cons which have my knickers in a twist.
“Less productivity. At-home workers can be distracted with personal tasks.“
Being in an office does not magically make a ‘personal’ life disappear nor for that matter, instantly put workers in A-game mode. Plenty of studies show – because of the constant ‘work’ interruptions, pointless soul ravaging meetings, water cooler nonsense, extra long breaks – that the average worker maybe gets in 5-6 hours of actual work done. On a good day.
“Less communication and cohesion. When workers are scattered, it’s harder to build a sense of ‘team.'”
“Less innovation. You need to bounce ideas off one another to generate new concepts.“
Skype. Facetime. Email. Project management apps. For Twitter’s sake, I get ideas from tweets. Workflow tracking. Fancy new things called telephones. And when we get really wild and crazy, we can GASP! schedule on-site meetings. In person. With like chairs and a big ass table in the middle.
When did teleworking translate into NEVER working with others, never having meetings or talking with your co-workers? (That’s not exactly a deal breaker is it, not like we really like everyone on ‘the team’ do we?)
No one is saying that technology will replace in person meetings for all eternity. Sometimes it’s better to meet, other times.. totally not.
What makes these arguments so silly to me is that they’re based upon this idea:
“Office chit-chat can be valuable for the bottom line.”
O-M-G. It’s “Oscars were lame” small talk or “Do you have what I need and asked for last week?! Screw it, I can do it myself faster.” That is office chit chat.
If someone’s got a million dollar idea, they ain’t given it up at the frickin’ water cooler. They’re putting that mojo down in stone, making sure they get the credit, the promotion, the pay raise and the stock options; or venturing out to do it on their own.
“Less control. In the office, you can see how and when employees are working.“
I’ll let C.C. Chapman take this one: “You don’t have a productivity problem, you have an HR problem.”
If you have to helicopter parent your “self-starter, autonomous, independent” highly recruited talent, you gots bigger issues than deciding workshifting is bad.
Four Walls Do Not an ‘Office’ Make
Most professionals I know are just that – professional. I am always learning, always thinking. My brain’s ON function isn’t limited by grey cube walls or the coffee shop or a 9-5 clock.
When the “at work” light is on, they make it happen. When it’s teleconference time – there are no distractions, there’s no zoning out or doodling on a note pad to fight the boredom; it’s a meeting and you show up to get your work DONE.
One good point the story made: A Pro for teleworking is that you can hire a wider range of talent; so a Con is that when you don’t, the competition gets to.
Is work wherever your brain is that day, or do you need the structure of an office, constant team interaction?