Monday, March 4, 2013

Remote working - is Yahoo! right?

The recent Yahoo! policy change introduced by CEO Marissa Mayer to stop all remote working has caused some interesting reactions. The BBC article "Teleworking: The myth of working from home" (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21588760) gives a good summary of the various arguments for and against remote working.

However, Richard Branson's blogged reaction "Give people the freedom of where to work" (http://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/blog/give-people-the-freedom-of-where-to-work), states pretty clearly that he believes it was probably a mistake on behalf of Yahoo! to stop remote working.

A common reason cited that remote working is 'bad' is that managers claim they can not keep track of their employees and can not monitor their productivity.

The truth is, if you don't know how to measure the productivity of your employees or if you don't feel you can trust them, then your company has bigger problems than its remote working policy.

Remote working is not a perk like 'casual Friday' or 'free coffee' it is a core cultural attitude a company adopts to how employees are regarded and treated. For this reason, specific technology and processes must be employed to manage people in a different way. And Richard Branson makes this very point about providing the 'right' technology.

Teamstinct (http://teamstinct.com/) was in fact designed for exactly the purpose of enabling remote teams to communicate effectively. Although it does also serve the same purpose for office based teams. Teamstinct is a free service run with the aim of making life a little bit better!

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