As the co-founder of a virtually-based company, focused on helping other virtual workers, hearing Yahoo’s and Best Buy’s new policy on banning remote work, well, it’s like a knife to the heart.
But, I understand the problem.
Yahoo‘s head of human resources, Jackie Reses, wrote that communication and collaboration will be important as the company works to be “more productive, efficient and fun.” To make that happen, she said, “it is critical that we are all present in our offices. Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people and impromptu team meetings.”
I understand this issue, the complexity of this problem. I felt these pains when I was a marketing consultant working from my home office in 2009. But for personal and preferential reasons, going back to an office environment wasn’t an option for me.
It is precisely for the reasons quoted by Ms. Reses, Duncan+Coleverria was founded. Anna Marie Etcheverria, my co-founder and fellow virtual worker, and I spent 2 years researching, talking to teleworkers, speaking with those who manage virtual workers, and finding out “what sucks about working from home”. We thought through the challenges of how to bring professional presence, accountability, trust, creativity, water cooler chats, and fun to people working from home as well as to those who manage them.
Through all of this, we found a way to mimic the experience of working in an office, from home. In essence, we designed and built a solution. We know it works, we’ve been working this way for almost 2 years.
While there is a lot of speculation behind the reasoning for Yahoo’s decision, (David Rolston offers some great insights to her decision from a CEO’s point of view in his blog Working Nowhere), this reasonings cited by Ms. Reses are real issues facing managers of virtual workers and virtual workers themselves.
I believe Yahoo’s statement:
“This isn’t a broad industry view on working from home, this is about what is right for Yahoo right now.”
But the fact that these issues of harnessing and managing collaboration and communication for people who work from home continue today for a company such as Yahoo and Best Buy, well, it completely validates the purpose for our company’s solution.
Ready to see our solution? Register at www.flipsideworkspace.com and tell us you want a tour in the “how’d you hear about us field”.