If you work for a company that allows you to work from home or “telecommute”, watch out for the studies that indicate working from home doesn’t work well. Companies like Google and Yahoo aren’t allowing people to work from home and others are following suit. Here are some of the reasons cited in Forbes Online
A healthy organization has a culture that allows the sharing of values and ideas, the formation of a corporate identity, and the sense of competitive urgency that allows a company to be agile and innovative. However, working from home can fail to fire up remote workers in the same way as a shared company environment. As a result, companies suffer—despite the increases in productivity and staff morale that come with teleworking.
That is complete bs. In a corporation, politics dictates that if something might be more difficult for managers to do, change the policy and inconvenience the people under them instead. After all, management makes the decisions, so it is only human nature to make decisions that mean they have to work less, even if it means others have to work more or be inconvenienced. Facts from the same article
So the studies show workers are more productive from home. I’m back to the fact that it’s managers who don’t like it because they have to work a little harder to use online tools they may not be familiar or comfortable with, so they would rather just not adopt new technology. More from Forbes on explaining why they don’t want their workers telecommuting
In work environments that see co-workers mingle and shoot the breeze around the water cooler, some real learning gets done. A lot of information exchange takes place, which allows the very same workers to increase their value to the organization. They’re able to tap into this undocumented flow of information and knowledge.
Uhh, maybe you corporate management types don’t know this, but you can chat online. For some time now, chat programs and social media have allowed people to share ideas just fine and help people learn. Online learning has grown like gangbusters. The Internet was created for the undocumented flow of information and knowledge. That is the exact reason the Internet was used from the very start. It increased the flow of information and the sharing of knowledge a thousand-fold even before we had the Internet as we know it today. Last quote I’ll use from the article
Magical or not, the fact remains that teleworking generally doesn’t work well, because corporations still haven’t solved the issues of remote learning, knowledge sharing, or firing up ideas. If that “magic” is to happen, you still need office face-time.
Because corporations, meaning management, still have not solved the issues of remote learning, etc. Yes. True statement. “Because corporate managers have failed to learn how to use new technology, then we should not allow telecommuting because we as corporate managers aren’t very good at our jobs or adopting new technology, even though our workers have adopted new technology and remote learning very well, so we should inconvenience those who actually took the time to learn how this all works rather than hire corporate managers that are willing to learn as well.” If they were honest about it, that last sentence I wrote would be more accurate. Unfortunately, in most corporations, CYA is the order of the day for management. They know the old way, bringing everyone into the office and they are comfortable with it. Since they don’t want to learn new technology, they can’t motivate people who work from home as well as they can in the office. Then, when productivity drops, blame the technology, not the manager who refuses to learn it. If you work for a company from home, I encourage you to share all of the learning and communication tools with your managers and bosses and encourage them to use them. otherwise, you may find them following the example of others and find yourself commuting to work again. Don’t expect them to research and find these tools themselves.