Weekend Open Forum: Your thoughts on working from home

By Shawn Knight ยท 32 replies
Mar 22, 2013
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  1. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer recently banned employees from working remotely at home, a decision that stirred up a storm of controversy from those in favor of her decision as well as those opposed to it. The executively reportedly enacted the...

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  2. Xero07

    Xero07 TS Booster Posts: 100

    I work at Intel and I enjoy the opportunity to work from home on occasion when I need to do something else during the day. The general policy here is to try to limit it to once a week.
  3. Duckula22

    Duckula22 TS Rookie Posts: 55

    It'd kick butt, I mean a world where people don't necessarily leave home to go to the office, less cars on the road, gas consumption would lower, better for your pocket and the environment, and everyone's lungs. Driver Insurance premiums would lower, since people wouldn't drive as much, many may not even buy a car at all. Such an evolutionary step would be awesome.
    learninmypc likes this.
  4. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,715   +855

    My work allows it on a limited basis. Nice to have the flexibility, but I know of people who abuse it too, unfortunately.
    Julio Franco likes this.
  5. Ranger12

    Ranger12 TS Evangelist Posts: 621   +122

    Banning it seems a little extreme. It does have its benefits for both the employer and the employee. It would be cheaper for both assuming productivity stays the same or increases. On the downside employees might feel detached from their company which could lower morale as well as productivity and cohesiveness. There is a social aspect of a regular workplace that an employee might miss out on that can be very important for people. Also as a benefit to companies many state and local governments are now providing assistance in setting up work at home policies as it benefits the local government as well. So really it's a classic Win/Win/Win situation. As stated by the great Michael Scott, "with win/win/win, we all win!" Can't argue with that.

    Right now I am working at a farm so there's not too many opportunities for working at home :<
  6. Lurker101

    Lurker101 TS Evangelist Posts: 819   +343

    Honestly, I'd love to work from home, but my gaffer doesn't think that a work at home chef is practical.
    Arris likes this.
  7. Since I teach at the local high school and we have a wonderful staff and loads of motivated and fun to be around students, I would hate working from home. Even if I had some other job, I would hate staying at home all day and lose the social aspect of work. One would really have to love virtual friends, solitary confinement, and the reclusive fairy tale to work at home. Not for me.
  8. The company I work for allowed me to work remotely 5 days a week. The reason being because I worked the night shift and no one was in the office during that time. Other people in the company worked from home but only 1 day a week. Over the past couple of years the business climate has changed because of the weak economy. My work from home has changed from 5 days a week to 1 day a week.

    I think allowing your employees to be flexible brings better morale and productivity. Sure you will have a couple of bad apples that abuse the system but that's no reason to take it away. The talk that the best ideas is talked about at the water cooler is bologna. A lot of the best ideas were created in people's garage's and basements. You think when Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, he was sitting at the water cooler?
  9. Larchy

    Larchy TS Rookie

    My work allows it on a limited bases as well, but for taxation reasons. Given the person doing the work, it can range greatly. Personally I find it a great improvement to rid of distractions when my day is free of meetings and various group tasks. I'd rather have in person contact when in meetings and brain storming.
  10. I recently went back into the office after six years at home. I won't say there aren't days I miss being remote, but for me being around people is a better environment. While you keep up your work, you start to skip shaving and the pajamas stay on later and later every day. One nice point is the ability to pick stuff up on your way home instead of making a run to town for some small thing or another. For various reasons I still work from home a few days a month, so I think being flexible is the best way to go. If you pass out laptops like candy and have VPN why charge a vacation day and lose 100% productivity because an employee has a repairman at the house for some reason?
  11. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,668   +988

    Having worked from home most of my life I can say it's great to have the flexibility, though sometimes it can be a pain in the *** because of interruptions at home and what not.

    Most of the TS staff works remotely (virtual office) and many of us work from home, but eventually we saw the need for a central office for members who were in the same city. It added some order and cohesiveness, though I bet the commute sucks on occasion (I live 5 minutes away from the office so it's not a an issue for me).
  12. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,715   +855

    "...but eventually we saw the need for a central office for members who were in the same city. It added some order and cohesiveness,"

    So what city are we talking about Julio?
  13. Dawn1113

    Dawn1113 TS Booster Posts: 322   +65

    I've been working two jobs for nearly a year now. My full-time job requires that I work at the office eight hours a day, five days a week. I like the discipline that regular hours impose. My second job as a hack writer, however, I get to do at home over internet on my own time. Can't say I prefer one over the other, although I can imagine how working at home full-time would be wonderful.
  14. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    I can work from home some days if I wanted to but I don't. I enjoy the social interactions in the office and find I get a lot more done there. My experience with working from home is checking emails every 10 mins just to let people know I'm online while surfing the internet and having the TV/music on in the background.
  15. It will be interesting to see if there are a mass of resignations at Google and they then find it more difficult to replace the people who have gone? There are pluses and minuses in nearly all industries with letting staff work from home and rather than ban it for all, then just deal with any staff member who abuses the variety using the normal disciplinary routines.

    I would say that a balance of days at home and at work is best. There is the morale boosting aspects of taking the mickey out of colleagues at work that you cannot do at home.
  16. WillemVanVliet

    WillemVanVliet TS Rookie

    I work three days a week at the University as an supporting programmer. Since I design and build the system other people work with, It's nice for everyone for me to work at the office. People can come with annoyances and suggestions for thew system and I can help them when they get stuck or ask how they use it.

    The other two days of the week I work for my own company along with three others. Since we don't have any revenue yet we work at home and dream of having our own office. The few time we worked at one location (LAN-Party style) our productivity doubled.

    In short, I like working at the office, keeps my head in order.
    However, I love the moments where I retreat to a vacation location and are able to continue work on projects there. (Which would count as 'working from home'.)
    There are too many distractions at home-home. Such as the various game icons on my desktop, house mates and the laundry.
  17. Railman

    Railman TS Booster Posts: 708   +101

    I used to be able to work remotely but I am now office bound. Hopefully with my new job I will be getting a laptop and the ability to work at home. Generally I prefer working in an office but it is useful to have the flexibility especially this time of year when there is weather related traffic disruption. My daughter has full remote access to her school so she was still able to study despite the school closing for the snow. I on the overhand had to go into the office! Luckily for me the trains service was still operational. When I did have remote access I found it useful being able to do certain time critical tasks whilst on holiday. In particular payrolls. It is also useful when I have a cold etc.
  18. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 452   +180

    I'm working from home right now and learning to truly hate Juniper's Network Connect which my company recently implemented to connect to the VPN.

    But back on topic. I think I prefer to work in the office. It's more structured, easier to concentrate, easier to interact with people (they can't hide) and the social interaction is important.

    But I truly like the option of working from home and any company that offers it is a better company.

    Personally I would prefer a 4-day working week, where I work 9 to 10 hours a day. But nowhere seems to offer that.
  19. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    Due to my fathers poor health, he is forced to work from home. He only goes to work if he needs to or has a presentation. I think it is crucial to wellbeing.
  20. Railman

    Railman TS Booster Posts: 708   +101

    Juniper is not very popular in my organization. They also tried to introduce SharePoint and it has been an unmitigated failure.
  21. ElShotte

    ElShotte TS Booster Posts: 163

    Okay, I do freelance work so I tend to work only from home. I get work done, yes, sometimes hammering away on a project straight from waking up to going to sleep, but there tends to be a lot of distractions too on occasion with personal affairs. Also, when you work for home, you don't have that sense of being in a place of work, where that's all you pretty much do, just work, and the atmosphere and group energy of the daily grind(s). I might be speaking for myself, but I find it very motivating when I'm surrounded by other people working (sometimes towards the same objective).

    Obviously like people already pointed out, if everyone could work from home how great it would be on the environment, agreed, but America for example, already has an obesity problem... this could make things significantly worse.
  22. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,131   +982

    YEP! If I'm in the house, the wife needs to talk. Ever try to write a document with someone chatting at you?

    The subject is loaded with emotional issues and all the supposed advantages don't always materialize. The flip side is that all of the disadvantages DO materialize. Managers HATE telecommuting as they can't see you and therefore don't feel in control (awe), let alone have any means to measure productivity.

    Of course there's a whole raft of collaboration software for group participation, but it takes more effort+time to use this stuff than would to just walk over and have a brief chat.

    As a programmer, I found it better even for me to be onsite. Issues were more readily solved and even as the worker, I felt more productive.
  23. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,131   +982

    Frequently that is called a 4-40 plan; 4 days totaling 40 hours. I've seen that in several places in my career.
  24. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,668   +988

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